A 64-year-old Christchurch man who sexually abused two young girls in the late 1960s and '70s has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.
Name suppression was lifted for Paul Stuart Welleans, who was found guilty by a jury last month of 11 sexual offences, when he was sentenced in the High Court at Christchurch on Friday.
The now retired businessman was 18 in 1969 when he started abusing the main victim, his five-year-old neighbour who had lost her mother.
The abuse, which escalated to rape, continued until she was 13, by which time Welleans had married.
A second victim, also under 12 and who had lost her mother, was attacked once.
Justice Cameron Mander said sentencing for historic sexual offending was difficult.
Welleans' offending stopped in 1978 and he had appeared to lead a blameless life since. He married his current wife 25 years ago and they have three adult children.
However, the offending was against vulnerable young girls he should have been looking after.
Both victims were considerably affected, with his main victim needing psychological and psychiatric treatment.
Justice Mander said he couldn't easily summarise the damage done by Welleans' abuse.
Welleans, and his family, maintain he is innocent.