Exmouth man jailed for sexually abusing girl told her it was 'our little secret'

PUBLISHED: 15:57 20 May 2019

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Archant

A man who carried out sexual assaults on a girl - who only later on realised she had been has been abused - has been jailed for almost nine years.

The victim only realised what Lee Hanson was doing was wrong when she received sex education at school when she was 13, and the shock had a drastic effect on her life.

The girl had been a star pupil at primary school but ended suffering from psychological problems.

Hanson, aged 55, of Exeter Road, Exmouth, admitted two counts of oral rape, two of assault by penetration, two of inciting a child to sexual activity and two of sexual assault.

He was jailed for eight years and eight months, with a one-year extended licence, and put on the sex offenders' register for life by Recorder Simon Levene at Exeter Crown Court.

Judge Levene said: "The details of this case are extremely distressing. Your victim did realise the gravity of what you did until later, but when she did, her life fell to pieces.

"She was seriously affected and suffered serious psychological harm from the acts you perpetrated against her. These were an extremely serious series of offences."

Rachel Drake, prosecuting, said the offences only came to light when the girl was 18 and told her mother about what had happened to her.

Miss Drake said: "She did not appreciate it until she had sexual education in year nine. He told her at the time it was 'our little secret'."

The girl's victim impact statement said: "I thought because he was an adult that what he was doing was okay. I did not think he would do anything to harm me because he was a grown-up.

"I was too young to know anything different at the time but it made me feel uncomfortable and weird. When I realised that it was not okay, I thought it was gross.

"I wonder if my self-hate issues would have happened if not for his abuse."

Bathsheba Cassel, defending, said Hanson had been completely frank with the police and expressed his remorse immediately.

His pleas had saved the victim from having to re-live the abuse by giving evidence.

He read out a letter in which he said: "I would like to apologise to her. I am so, so sorry. I am deeply remorseful.

"I would like to apologise to my ex-friends and my family for the shame I have brought upon them."

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