A 57-YEAR-OLD Dursley man who sexually abused two young girls - then tried to persuade one of them to drop the allegation - was jailed for two years today.

Alan Johansen, of Woodview Road, Norman Hill, was told by a judge at Gloucester Crown Court that he was 'arrogant' and 'gauche'.

But Judge Jamie Tabor QC said he did not consider Johansen to be a paedophile - he regarded him as a rather lonely man who drank too much and 'had a completely false idea of where the appropriate boundaries lie'.

At his trial at Gloucester Crown Court last month Johansen had denied eight charges - four of engaging in sexual activity with a girl under 13 between May 2004 and August 2007.

Two other charges were of sexually assaulting the same girl between September 2005 and August 2007 Another was of having sexual activity with the other girl when she was aged under 16 between April 2006 and April 2008.

The final charge was of trying to pervert the course of justice between February last year and February 2010 by asking one of the girls to change her story.

Prosecutor Fiona Elder told the jury Johansen had kissed and molested one girl when she was staying at his home.

Johansen denied all the allegations and said they were false.

At the sentencing hearing defence barrister Meirion Davies handed the judge a sheaf of testimonials supporting Johansen.

The judge observed that Johansen's merchant navy career had included serving aboard the Oriana.

He urged the court to pass a suspended sentence on the grounds that the offences were at the lowest end of the scale.

Jailing Johansen, the judge said: "I suspect you pleaded not guilty because you feared being branded as what the press call a paedophile.

"I don't believe you are a paedophile. I think you are a man of the time who was rather lonely, drinking too much and had a completely false idea of where the appropriate boundaries lie.

"I have had the opportunity to observe you. It seems to me you are gauche and are unaware of where the personal boundaries of others lie.

"But you must have known it was wholly inappropriate to kiss little girls in the way you did.

"You are an arrogant man. You think you know best. You don't.

"You have injured and hurt one little girl quite considerably and her victim impact statement makes that plain.

"It would be good if you removed that arrogance and looked at yourself more deeply rather than blame others."

As well as the two year jail term the judge ordered Johansen to sign the sex offenders' register for the next ten years.

Before leaving the dock Johansen said: "I would like to go to the Court of Appeal if I may."

The judge said "Of course you may" and Johansen said "Thank you anyway."