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The four-year dedication of an officer to see justice done for a teenage girl who was raped has led to the man responsible being jailed for 15 years.
Detective Constable Suzie Brenton from the force’s Child Abuse Investigation Unit (CAIU) has remained committed to the case since taking over as the officer in charge in February 2019.
Her efforts to ensure the victim’s voice was heard have never waived and on Monday (27 February), following a trial at Leicester Crown Court, Kevin Sidwell was found guilty of two counts of rape – which occurred on at least 10 separate occasions – and two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
He was found not guilty of a further two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault of a child.
The 54-year-old, of High Street, Barwell, was given a total of 15 years in prison for the offences which happened between December 2010 and May 2018.
When released he will be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will also be on the Sex Offenders Register for life.
Working closely with the victim and her family, DC Brenton worked tirelessly to ensure the offences were thoroughly investigated and provided support every step of the way.
She said: “I am so pleased after more than four years this case has been heard in court and the person responsible for committing these horrific crimes will now be behind bars for many years.
“Throughout this time my focus has been getting justice for the victim and doing all I can to support her and her family through the process.”
The offences were first reported to police in July 2018 by the-then 13-year-old girl and her family.
Following an extensive investigation and examination of the evidence, working closely with the Crown Prosecution Service, Kevin Sidwell was charged in 2020.
DC Brenton added: “The courage and strength the victim has shown, supported by her family, since making that initial report has been incredible. Their willingness and determination to see this man answer for the devastation he has caused is truly commendable.
“While yesterday’s verdict will not take away the pain and suffering, I hope it will enable them to begin to move forward with their lives.”
Detective Superintendent Gav Drummond, who is responsible for overseeing the CAIU, said: “I want to commend the efforts of all the officers involved in this case - from those who took the initial report and ensured the girl was no longer in danger – but particularly to DC Brenton for her outstanding hard work and commitment to see this case to conclusion and to achieve justice for this child.
“Her efforts are a shining example of the work officers do every day - striving to safeguard the most vulnerable in our society and deal with those who the cause most harm.”
For more information and support on reporting child abuse visit Advice about child abuse | Leicestershire Police (leics.police.uk)