A firefighter convicted of sexually abusing two children has been jailed for seven years.

Steven Anderson, an on-call firefighter with Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, was sentenced for engaging in sexual activity with two children, sexual assault, sexual touching offences and indecent electronic communication.

Prosecution barrister Charles Myatt read summaries of the statements from the victims of the 33-year-old's abuse to Ipswich Crown Court.

He said one of the victims, who was a teenager at the time of the abuse but is now an adult, is now “suffering from nightmares” and that “if she goes out, she is always worried”.

Mr Myatt added: “She’s lost around 2.5 stone as a result of the stress”.

East Anglian Daily Times: Anderson was jailed at Ipswich Crown CourtAnderson was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court (Image: Suffolk Police)

The other woman, who was also a teenager at the time, now has “heart palpitations” and “wakes up at random points in the night” as she too suffers from nightmares.

“She finds it hard to go to work and doesn’t want to face anyone,” Mr Myatt added.

The most serious of the counts of child sexual activity involved penetration with a finger.

The court heard from Judge Emma Peters, who said this incident happened on Christmas Day in 2022 and the girl “lay frozen not knowing how to deal with this” while it went on for 45 minutes.

She added: “It’s clear they’ve suffered anxiety and nervousness. These young girls have certainly in the short term at least had their lives changed by these offences.”

Defence barrister Claire Matthews spoke in mitigation on behalf of Anderson.

She said that during his time awaiting sentencing in custody so far he has been a “model prisoner” according to prison officers.

Ms Matthews said Anderson, of no fixed abode, was in the Royal Air Force for four years, then became an on-call firefighter and ran a small business.

She added: “He struggled initially with custody, but is showing all the signs of wanting to work on himself.”

Judge Peters said “there was at least some planning” in his actions to carry out the abuse and imposed a restraining order, preventing him from contacting the victims on top of the seven years imprisonment.