A GALASHIELS man who sexually abused on two young sisters almost 30 years ago has been jailed for four years.

Matthew Walley, 46, was a teenager when he began abusing the girls when they were aged four and six.

The lewd and libidinous offences took place in the Borders between January 1987 and April 1992.

Walley continues to deny the sexual abuse.

Sentencing Walley at the High Court in Glasgow judge Lord Woolman told him: “Your victims were two young girls. This was persistent ad shameful sexual abuse.and you continue to deny it. You conduct has continued to have a major impact on their lives.”

Walley, of Winston Road, abused one victim from the age of six until she was 11.

The woman, now aged 37, works as a midwife and after having a child found it difficult to leave the child in the care of others.

She eventually spoke of what what had happened to her a child and reported it to the police.

Walley abused the woman's younger sister when she was aged between four and seven.

The court heard that Walley told the older girl that he loved her during the abuse.

Prosecutor Richard Goddard told then jury that the episodes of abuse with the older girl appeared to become "almost a matter of routine".

The advocate depute said that Walley had carried the acts against the girls for his own sexual gratification.

Walley, a former taxi driver, admitted in evidence he had asked one of the girls "an inappropriate question”, but denied any sexual abuse.

Defence counsel Edith Forrest said: “This happened many years ago and he had not offended since.

“Mr Walley says he was taken into care when he was five and abused. He is assessed as a low risk of offending and is the main carer for a teenage boy.”

Ms Forrest urged the Lord Woolman to consider a non-custodial sentence, but he said the only appropriate sentence was prison and told Walley: “You violated their childhood.”

Walley showed no emotion as he was led away to begin his sentence.