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9 May 2014, 16:23
A man from Cramlington has been jailed for 17 years for sexual offences involving a child which took place over a decade.
Stephen Wilkes aged 34, of Monkside was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court today.
He had earlier been found guilty to ten counts of indecent assault/gross indecency and sexual activity involving penetration with a child at Newcastle Crown Court on March 14th.
This was an historic case of offences committed over a ten year period starting in 1994 when the young girl victim was three years old.
Wilkes also pleaded guilty in August to possessing an indecent moving image of a child on his computer.
Detective Sergeant Phil Mordue, of the Rape Investigation Team, said:
"We want to reassure people we take all allegations of child sexual abuse - current or historic - very seriously and have specially trained officers able to deal with sensitive issues in confidence.
I would also like to praise the bravery of the victim who came forward and told officers about these crimes. This enquiry has been very difficult for this individual and I hope that following this sentence she feels that justice has now been done.
I would like to say to anyone who has suffered such abuse to try to find the courage to tell the police so we can take action. No one should feel they have to suffer in silence and carry around the heavy burden of this type of abuse. I hope this young woman can now start to put this ordeal behind her and move forward with the help and support of her family."