Jail for pervert who groomed and abused girl

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THE mother of a 13-year-old girl who was sexually abused by a 48-year-old man has spoken of her family’s heartache.

Leeds Crown Court heard Mark Holdsworth plied the schoolgirl with alcohol and gave her money before subjecting her to what a judge called “a disgraceful catalogue of abuse.”

Holdsworth, of Tanshelf Drive, Pontefract, was jailed for nine-years-and-nine-months after admitting seven charges of sexual activity with a child.

The victim’s mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said after the sentencing hearing: “I hope he rots in hell because of what he has done.

“No doubt he will come out after his sentence and can start living his life again. But can she? Will she get over this? It’s heartbreaking.

“He has stolen everything. She was a child, a little girl.

“It’s been an absolute nightmare. It’s affected her mentally and it’s affected us mentally as a family.

She told how her daughter had been transformed from a “lovely, outgoing young woman” into a withdrawn and angry teenager.”

The mother added: “She’s like a ticking time bomb at the moment. She’s angry at everybody and everything.

“Before this came out there were slight changes. We just thought she was changing from being a nice girl into a teenager. She’s become very withdrawn.”

Leeds Crown Court heard how the girl, who is unrelated to her abuser, was being groomed by Holdsworth.

Prosecutor Nicholas Askins said: “He would let her drink alcohol and get her drunk, then tell her she was attractive. He would make her feel guilty, as if she owed him something.”

In mitigation, the court was told that Holdsworth had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and had shown remorse for his actions.

Jailing Holdsworth, Judge James Spencer QC, told him: “She was 13 years old and you groomed her for your own sexual pleasure. You would give her compliments and make her feel like she had to repay you - and that was for you to abuse her.

“All in all, this was a disgraceful catalogue of abuse to this poor girl, and I am not surprised it is having its impact upon her.”

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