A man who raped and sexually abused a schoolgirl, getting her pregnant has been jailed for nine years.
Andrew Smith, who lives in Lancaster, began grooming and sexually abusing the girl when she was a teenager and his abuse continued over three years culminating in raping her.
Liverpool Crown Court heard the offences took place in the Hoylake and Moreton area of the Wirral and the victim has been left badly psychologically affected by her ordeal.
In a moving impact statement the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said she felt like “My childhood has been snatched from me. When he got me pregnant at I went through hell.”
She added: “This will never leave me.”
Jailing 47-year-old Smith, of Wensley Drive, Skerton, Lancaster, Judge Norman Wright said that most of the offences were specimen counts so his behaviour involved multiple offending.
“These early teenage years are very important in girls and boys forming their sexual identity and ability to deal with sexual relationships.”
Smith had denied all the allegations but was convicted after a trial. He was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register life and the judge made a Sexual Harm Prevention Order. Anthony O’Donoghoe, defending, said Smith was a hard working man when his health problems allowed. “He is very stressed about losing his liberty. He hopes to avail himself of the courses in prison.”
After the hearing Detective Mike Gallagher from Merseyside Police’s Birkenhead CID said: “Andrew Smith is a manipulative man who preyed on an innocent young child when she was at a vulnerable stage of her life. This prosecution shows that he did not get away with it in the end and is now facing a long time behind bars.
“The victim’s bravery in coming forward and giving her evidence has been outstanding and absolutely crucial for a jury to find him guilty. She found the courage to report what had happened to her to the police and has been supported by us, the CPS and other agencies throughout the process.
“Specially trained officers and lawyers in Merseyside Police’s Unity team have been by her side throughout the trial to ensure that she got the chance to tell the court what Andrew Smith did to her all those years ago and see justice being done.
“I hope this case sends out a reassurance message to victims of sexual abuse, whether it is recent or historic, that if you can find the courage needed to come forward that Merseyside Police along with support agencies will be there to support you throughout the judicial process.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to warn sexual predators who think they can get away it that they can’t. We need people to speak out and we will do everything in our power to put them before the courts.”