Hathern man convicted of child sex offences sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment
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A Hathern man has been jailed after being convicted of child sexual abuse over a 10-year period.
Mark Birch, 54, began taking advantage of his young victim in the late 1990s, when she was just six years old.
As the years progressed, the level of abuse intensified, resulting in him raping her on several occasions.
The abuse stopped 10 years later.
In 2020 his victim – who is now an adult – contacted police to report what had happened. She told officers that several years after the abuse stopped, Birch had apologised to her in person for what he had done.
Birch was interviewed by police and denied his victim’s claims, but yesterday (Tuesday), following a trial, he was found guilty of:
Four counts of indecent assault
Three counts of rape
Two counts of rape of a child under 13
Two counts of sexual assault of a child under 13
Two counts of indecency with a child
Two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity
One count of cruelty to a person under 16 years
Today (Wednesday) at Leicester Crown Court, Birch, of Loughborough Road, Hathern, was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment with an extended licence period of two years.
Detective Sergeant Anna Blockley, the officer in the case, said: “There can be no mistake Birch committed his crimes solely to fulfil his own sexual gratification.
“His victim was just six when the abuse began. As an adult, he took full advantage of her innocence and she had to grow up continuing to suffer the effects of what he’d done. She’s shown great courage and strength throughout the investigation, including giving evidence in front of a jury at court.
“I hope the fact he’s now facing the consequences of his crimes – a significant time in prison – will provide her with a degree of closure.”
There are several different agencies who are able to offer independent help and support to victims of sexual offences in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland