A Leicester man has been jailed for raping a girl just before her thirteenth birthday.
Gary Smith (known as Tommy), was handed a 12 years sentence at Leicester Crown Court yesterday (4 July).
Smith denied two counts of rape against the 12-year old victim, but was found guilty following a trial.
He was sentenced to 12-years for each count, which he will serve concurrently. Smith must also sign the sex offenders register for life.
The 50-year-old, of Imperial Avenue, bought the young girl presents as a show of affection. However, he would then manipulate situations where both he and his victim were alone so he could carry out the abuse – just weeks before her 13th birthday.
He also encouraged her to send indecent images of herself, while he too sent inappropriate messages to her mobile phone.
Detective Constable Jim Muzzell said: “Smith thought that by buying his victim presents, she wouldn’t tell anyone about the horrific abuse he’d committed. He thought that he could buy her silence.”
“But she must be praised for her bravery. Despite her age, she gave detailed accounts to police which were vital in helping to bring Smith to justice. He is now facing a lengthy spell behind bars.”
Leicestershire Police works alongside a number of partner agencies to tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE).
If you think you are a victim of CSE, or know someone who may be a victim, you can find further help and advice here