A New Malden man who sexually abused two girls under 13 over nine years “while positioning himself as a respectable family man” has been jailed for 22 years.

Mark Bolton, previously known as Dermot Bolton, was found guilty of five counts of raping a child, two counts of attempted rape of a child, seven counts of sexual assault of a child, one count of assault by penetration of a child and one count of sexual activity with a child.

In addition, he was found guilty of two counts of causing a child to engage in or watch sexual activity and one count each of taking indecent photographs of a child and voyeurism.

He was sentenced on Friday, November 5, at Kingston Crown Court, having been convicted on September 2 after a trial at the same court.

Bolton was known to the children and their relatives.

Police were alerted to his offending after one of the victims spoke to a member of staff at their school. The school contacted the child’s mother, who in turn called police on December 1, 2020.

An urgent police investigation was launched and Bolton was arrested by Met officers the same day.

Detective Constable Katy Waddington who led the investigation by the Met’s South West BCU said: “The details of this case were some of the most distressing I have heard in six years investigating child abuse.

“Mark Bolton sexually abused the children having groomed them and ultimately secure their continued silence.

"He used covert hidden cameras and his knowledge of IT to further his sexual interest in children all the while positioning himself as a respectable family man.

“I continue to be in awe of victims who come forward to face their abusers, even more so in cases where the abuse was by someone they trusted.

“There are not enough words to describe the bravery and dignity shown. I hope the children and their relatives will find some peace moving forward, and the lengthy prison sentence will reassure them as they begin to rebuild their lives.”

In addition to a 22-year prison sentence, Bolton was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.