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3 June 2015, 16:36
A Brownhills man, who admitted sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl after his DNA was found on her clothing, has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.
Richard Hopkins targeted his young victim, whom he knew, when they were alone together at an address in Brownhills on 1 September 2014.
Hopkins, aged 48, had been looking after the girl while her family were on a day out and began to grab her while she was sat on the sofa, before sexually assaulting her.
After the assault, he told the girl he had thought of doing something similar on previous occasions and that she was not to tell anyone what had happened.
The girl's family then returned to the house and when they got home that night, the girl told her mum she had been assaulted.
Hopkins was arrested and maintained his innocence until a week before the trial, when officers received vital forensic results showing DNA from his hand on the inside of the girl's underwear.
On 2 June, the former factory worker of Fullelove Road pleaded guilty at Wolverhampton Crown Court to one count of sexually assaulting a child under the age of 13 and was sentenced to four-and-a-half years behind bars.
Detective Constable Vicky Kelleher from West Midlands Police Public Protection Unit said: "Hopkins was meant to be looking after the girl but instead used the opportunity to abuse her and the trust her family had place in him.
"I would like to commend the girl's bravery in coming forward and speaking to her mum, which allowed us to swiftly arrest Hopkins and prevent any further abuse from taking place.
"We are satisfied with the sentence handed to Hopkins, which we hope will go some way to giving the girl and her family some closure on this terrible ordeal and allow them to move forward with their lives.
"We also hope this case shows that we take such allegations extremely seriously and encourages other young victims to come forward."