A PROLIFIC paedophile from Knutsford has been sentenced to more than 11 years behind bars for sexually abusing young boys and distributing indecent images.

Justin Ward, 48, of Northwich Road, was sentenced to 11 years and eight months at Chester Crown Court today, August 26, after pleading guilty to charges.

The investigation was triggered in 2011 when a young boy in Knutsford disclosed that he had been a victim of a sexual abuse by Ward.

As a result of his complaint, Ward was arrested and his computers seized by the police. When the computers were examined, Ward was found to be in possession of indecent images of children that he was also distributing.

Numerous chat logs were also discovered that showed Ward was grooming children online and a disc was discovered that showed pictures of Ward abusing boys when he was working in Germany in the 1990s.

He was charged with the abuse of two boys from Germany and pleaded guilty to those offences.

In July 2013, Ward was charged with 29 offences, including indecent assault on a child, taking indecent images of a child, causing or inciting a child to commit sexual activity, sexual activity with a child and the possession, making and distribution of indecent images of children.

Ward pleaded guilty to 24 offences and five were allowed to lie on file.

DC Richard Deakin said: “Justin Ward is a paedophile who for years has been grooming young boys and sexually abusing them. This investigation was started when one of those boys had the courage to tell somebody about the abuse and support was given to him to help him through the process.

“I would like to thank them for helping bring this man to justice. We would encourage young victims of sexual abuse to tell somebody they can trust such as their parents, a teacher, or the police so we can stop it happening to them and other young people.”