A BARRHEAD man has appeared in court charged with a 17-year reign of sexual terror involving children.

Alan Rourke is said to have repeatedly sexually abused three young girls, who can’t be named for legal reasons, between 1994 and 2011.

Prosecutors claim 44-year-old Rourke, of Levernside Avenue, targeted the first youngster between October 1994 and October 1997, when she was aged between nine and 11.

Court papers allege that, “on various occasions” at a property in Divernia Way, Barrhead, he put his hands under her clothes, touched her inappropriately and tried to force her to touch his private parts.

READ MORE: Pervert who hoarded vile stash of images must wait to learn fate

Rourke is said to have behaved in the same manner towards the same girl between October 1997 and October 2001, when she was between the ages of 12 and 15.

He is accused of abusing his second alleged victim between January and December 1997, when she was aged eight and nine, at the same Divernia Way address, by placing his hands under her clothes and touching her private parts.

According to court papers, his final alleged victim was abused between August and December 2011 at a property in the Penilee area of Glasgow.

Prosecutors allege that Rourke grabbed a nine-year-old girl and placed her hand on his private parts.

Rourke pleaded not guilty to the four charges he faces when he appeared in the dock at Paisley Sheriff Court last week for a pre-trial hearing to take place.

The case was continued until July for a further pre-trial hearing to be held.

Read the latest from the Barrhead News