A sports masseur sexually assaulted four women who trusted him to treat them.

Two women were attacked while alone and vulnerable with Steven Goss in his shop.

Goss, who said he had served in the army, repeatedly touched the women between the legs while giving them a massage.

He went on to sexually assault another woman while visiting her place of work for a well known company and another at a sports club.

Now the 52-year-old, of Mount Pleasant, Stanley, County Durham, has been convicted of four counts of sexual assault at Newcastle Crown Court. He was cleared of two further sexual assault charges.

Judge Robert Adams told him: "I want a pre-sentence report in this case. In ordering such a report, I'm giving no indication as to sentence. Of course these are serious allegations."

Judge Adams said "all options" will be open when Goss is sentenced in April.

The court heard Goss ran a sports massage business called Relaxing Times, based in Burnopfield, and he advertised for business in places including Facebook.

When victim one contacted him, he quoted her £20, which she thought seemed low.

When she turned up, he was the only member of staff present and he locked the door after she came in.

Steven Goss leaves Newcastle Crown Court

Vince Ward, prosecuting, said in opening the case: "There was a short conversation between them before she prepared for the massage.

"During the conversation the defendant disclosed to her that he had served in the army, information she was later to say preyed on her mind for reasons that will become obvious."

The woman said there were no problems with the massage at first as Goss worked on her back, shoulders and lower legs.

Mr Ward said: "He then asked her to remove her shorts, which she thought was unnecessary because they were loose enough to massage the top of her legs without that but she removed them in any event.

"At that point, the prosecution say, he sexually assaulted her. He kept contact between his hand and her inner thigh as he moved his hand to her glutes and her backside. That was unnecessary, in her experience."

Goss then deliberately rubbed the woman between the legs, twice at that point.

Mr Ward said: "She flinched the first time but gave him the benefit of the doubt and thought it may have been accidental contact at that point.

"He said nothing, he made no comment, then repeated the same touching another five times.

"She tensed up and felt afraid. She was alone in the shop with him, behind a locked door and he had told her he spent time in the army."

After the massage ended and she left, she called her husband and told him what had happened.

Victim two was contacted by Goss on Facebook messenger and he offered his services to her, again for £20.

When she turned up, a woman walked past the premises and Goss commented that she was a client and that she liked a firm massage.

Mr Ward said: "She was shocked and scared when he said that but didn't say anything.

"She was alone with him in a basement room."

The woman said Goss suggested she drank more water for a medical condition and told her to ring him every time she took a drink.

He then touched her between the legs in the same way as victim one.

Mr Ward said: "That caused her to gasp out loud.

"She thought it must have been an accident. He didn't apologise or say anything.

"He did it a second time and she clamped her legs together.

"He asked her to relax then pushed his hand  between her legs, rubbing her vagina, again.

"She said he did it more than 20 times during the one hour massage.

"She was too afraid to confront him given the circumstances. She just hoped it would end and she would be able to get out without anything more serious happening."

Aside from giving massages at his shop, Goss would also visit company premises to provide massages for employees.

At one well-known firm, he asked victim three to undress down to her underwear and gave her a towel which prosecutors said was too small to cover her top and bottom half.

As he massaged her in a "sweeping motion" he sexually assaulted her.

Mr Ward said: "He made no apology. She flinched and adjusted her position to make it more difficult for him to do that.

"She pulled the towel down and he moved it up again and he touched her another twice in the same way.

Victim four was sexually assaulted by being touched between her legs twice during a massage at a sports club.

Goss, who had denied any wrongdoing, was released on bail until his sentencing date in April.