A FORMER soldier of the Salvation Army, who made young girls call him “Uncle Jim” as he raped them in the shower, is likely to die in jail. James Summers, 79, was yesterday sentenced to 18 years in prison after he was convicted of six rape charges dating back to the 1980s.

Last night one of his victims, Teresa Haynes, told the Oxford Mail: “The past is now in the past.

“It’s dealt with and I can move on.”

The Didcot paedophile stood in silence as the Oxford Crown Court jury found him guilty of 10 sex offences after nearly nine hours of deliberation.

He raped Miss Haynes and another girl when they were perhaps as young as six years old.

The abuse took place between 1983 and 1985.

Miss Haynes, now 37, who lived in Saxton Road in Abingdon at the time, said no one had believed her before.

But a second victim had come forward recently.

Miss Haynes, a former Fitzharry’s School pupil, said: “It was horrible.

“At eight you have the playground idea of what sex is but you don’t really know it’s wrong.

“But you trust him because he is part of the Salvation Army.”

Speaking after the verdict, she said: “It’s been very hard for me but it’s over now.”

The mum-of-eight waived her anonymity to tell her story to the Oxford Mail to show other abuse victims justice could be done and that the nature of his crimes would be known.

She said: “They see a picture and a name (in the paper) and they know people do something about it.

“With any luck he will die in prison.”

Summers, of Lyndene Road, was also found guilty of repeatedly raping a young girl with learning difficulties in Didcot between 1999 and 2002.

The case was dropped in 2002 by prosecutors after Summers denied the allegations, but it was re-examined when the other claims arose.

He was also found guilty of four other sex crimes.

The jury cleared him of a further eight charges of rape and attempted rape.

Jailing Summers, Judge Mary Jane Mowat said: “He abused his position in the Salvation Army in the grossest possible way.

“They (the victims) did not complain for many years, at least not to anyone who took them seriously.”

She sentenced him to 18 years for each rape but the sentences will run concurrently.

She told him his son would have to explain to his 84-year-old wife Ethel – who suffers from Alz-heimer’s – why her husband would not see her again.

A Salvation Army statement said last night: “We are deeply concerned this situation happened.

“Our prayers and heartfelt sympathies are with the victims.”

Summers will remain on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely and is barred from working with children or disabled people.