Steve Christian, 53, a descendant of the mutineer Fletcher Christian, was described as a dominating force in the isolated Pacific community who showed absolutely no remorse after raping two girls aged 11 and 12.

The victims, now adults, said they did not tell their parents because they would have been powerless to do anything on a speck of rock where co-operation between the few inhabitants, particularly the able-bodied men, was vital.

Their trauma was simply ignored until police began investigating sexual abuse on Pitcairn a quarter of a century later.

Christian, whose positions on the island range from supervising engineer to dentist, is accused of raping one young girl four times and a second twice, as well as indulging in consensual sex with two other under-aged girls.