Man jailed after years of sexually abusing young girl

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A man has been jailed for 15 years after admitting to the rape and sexual abuse of a young girl.

Michael John O’Neill, 72, of Upton, was today sentenced at York Crown Court for the crimes, which took place in the late 1960s and into the 1970s.

He pleaded guilty in April this year to one count of raping a girl, eight counts of indecently assaulting a girl and four counts of gross indecency with a girl.

Detective Sergeant Fionna McEwan, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “O’Neill’s horrendous crimes have had an enormous impact on the victim and her family, and it is right that he now faces a significant jail sentence.

“I would like to pay tribute to the victim’s tremendous bravery in coming forward and talking about what happened to her, and I hope that she can now move forward with her life knowing that justice has been served.

“I would urge anyone who is the victim of sexual abuse to report it, regardless of how long ago it happened.

“I know it takes a lot of courage for people to call us or walk into a police station, but I would like to offer the reassurance that we have specially trained officers who will support you through the process, as well as offering you the support provided by other agencies.

“Your information could also trigger measures that are put in place to protect other victims, and help to inform a bigger picture of offending – both of which can help to protect and potentially reduce the risk to future victims.”

O’Neill was also issued with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Victims of sexual crimes can call police on 101, contact their local sexual assault referral centre or contact North Yorkshire’s Supporting Victims by calling 01609 643100 or visiting www.supportingvictims.org

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