A man who raped a young girl during three years of sexual abuse has been jailed for eight years.
A court heard Paul Richards, 45, preyed on the youngster when she was aged between nine and 11 years old.
The offences were committed during the 1990s when Richards was aged in his 20s. Leeds Crown Court heard the offences came to light last year when the victim reported Richards to police through fear he may target other youngsters.
Richards, of Margaret Close, Morley, pleaded guilty to three offences of rape, three of indecency with a child and one of indecent assault.
He was also ordered to go on the sex offenders for life when he was sentenced yesterday.
Judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, told Richards: “I have read of the profound effect that your offending has had upon her life.
“She has carried this with her for many years, feeling guilty about what happened between you when she bore absolutely no responsibility for it.
“This campaign of sexual abuse is so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified.”
Charles Blatchford, mitigating, described the case as “tragic.” Mr Blatchford said Richards was sorry for what he had done and had pleaded guilty at an early stage after he was charged with the offences.
The barrister added that Richards still had the support of his family but accepted that he must be punished for what he had done.
Det Chief Insp Gail Lawrie, of Operation Topaz, West Yorkshire Police’s dedicated rape investigation unit, said: “Richards carried out repeated sexual offences against a young and vulnerable victim. She has been extremely courageous in coming forward and speaking out. We take all reports of offences of this nature very seriously and have specially trained officers who will work with victims to bring the matter before the courts where those responsible will face the consequences of their actions, just as Richards has today.”
Agencies that can help victims include the Star (Surviving Trauma After Rape) helpline on 01924 298954.