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A man who began sexually abusing a young girl when she was just six years old has been jailed for 10 years.
Thirty-five-year-old Craig Townsend committed the offences in the Charnwood area across a number of years before 2018 when his victim contacted police and reported what had happened to her.
A full investigation was undertaken by detectives from the force’s Child Abuse Investigation Unit (CAIU) and Townsend, of the Charnwood area, was charged with a number of offences.
He denied his crimes, but following a trial at Leicester Crown Court, he was convicted of three counts of sexual assault of a girl under 13 and one count of causing/inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity.
He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and will also serve an additional year on licence.
Detective Constable Matt Gibson, from the CAIU, was the officer in the case. He said: “The victim in this case was just six years old when Townsend began abusing her – she was an innocent child.
“He clearly saw her as a way to fulfil his own sexual gratification and, believing that she wouldn’t tell anyone or that her allegations wouldn’t be seen as truthful, took advantage and continued to do so for a number of years.
“But she showed courage to eventually speak out and I’m pleased that – despite denying anything had happened – he was convicted and is now serving a prison sentence for his actions.
“I hope today’s outcome allows the victim a degree of closure and she can move on with her life.”
There are a number of different agencies who are able to offer independent help and support to victims of sexual offences in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland