A PAEDOPHILE former soldier nicknamed the Fat Controller by one of his victims has been jailed for abusing young girls.

Shane Townson indecently assaulted the children when he was living in Colchester in the Nineties.

The former Royal Corps of Transport Lance Corporal admitted four counts of indecent assault as part of civilian court proceedings after he had left the Army.

Ipswich Crown Court also sat as a Court Martial and he also admitted a series of six different indecent assaults while he served abroad in the Eighties. The court heard Townson, 58, would often apologise to the victims after the attacks but continued with his sordid behaviour.

One of the victims described Townson as a “twisted, vile monster” and said she referred to him in her head as the Fat Controller.

In a statement she said: “I prayed so hard it would stop.

“I was an empty shell going through the motions of life.”

The other said Townson, now of Old Vicarage Gate, St Erth, Hayle, Cornwall, made her feel helpless and that she still felt sick when she thought about the abuse.

Lynne Shirley, mitigating, said the Gulf War veteran had a difficult time in the Army and was a changed man now.

She said: “He is deeply ashamed about his behaviour and the impact it has and it will have on the victims.

“He is now some 20 or 30 years on a very different man compared to the one who committed those offences. He has shown remorse.”

The court heard Townson had always been open about his offending when he had been challenged about it. He made candid admissions to police.

Judge Emma Peters jailed Townson for a total of ten years.

She said: “To abuse a child and apologise is manipulative but perhaps it is at least an acknowledgement of how wrong it was.

“But you did not stop. It is clear you caused these women significant psychological harm. Their lives have been blighted for decades after what you did to them.

“You have got a number of years now to regret what you have done.”