A 68 year old man faces 15 years and six months in jail after he admitted a series of sex offences against young people in Horsham.
Terence Paremain, of Burdett Road, Crowborough, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Friday.
He had previously pleaded guilty to ten counts of indecent assault, two of indecency with a child, and five of a more serious sex offence.
Prosecutor Philip Meredith said allegations were made by one victim back in 2001, but there was not enough evidence for a prosecution.
However, the police returned to the case more recently when the other two victims came forward.
Mr Meredith said one of the victims told his parents, while the other suddenly broke down during a conversation with his partner, telling her and later his parents.
Mr Cohen, representing Paremain, said he had pleaded guilty as soon as a dispute over the exact dates of the offences had been resolved.
“Your Honour will have seen many cases where the defendants just deny, deny, deny, in the hope that the jury will find some doubt,” he said.
He added that Paremain had been through a ‘very deprived upbringing’, in a series of children’s homes, and had himself been a victim of sexual abuse when he was a child.
Sentencing, Judge Charles Kemp said: “Although you denied all of these allegations when questioned by police, you did admit them once the dates were agreed.
“I am therefore able to give you full credit for doing so.
“The most important result of that is that those three young men - as they now are - do not have to suffer the ordeal of giving evidence and having to relive what they’ve suffered.”
He added: “They were terrified at the time of telling anyone what had happened.
“All three of those young men will have suffered traumatising at your hands, and in my view they have shown great courage in coming forward.
“You yourself undoubtedly suffered as a child,” Judge Kemp said, referring to Paremain’s history as a victim of child abuse.
“It’s a desperately sad story, which this court has heard, sadly, many times before, that the objects of sexual abuse become, many years later, abusers.
“It’s a tragedy that a man of your years and good character should be revealed as a serial sex offender.”
DC John Hord said: “His victims have shown great courage in coming forward and reporting these offences.
“What they suffered has clearly had a massive impact on their lives and we have worked very hard to bring Mr Paremain to justice.
“We always take reports of sexual offences very seriously and always act to bring those responsible to justice, even if it is many years after the crimes have taken place,” said DC Hord.