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19 March 2019, 16:10 | Updated: 19 March 2019, 16:15
Martin Willcocks, 50, of Westhead Avenue, Kirkby was sentenced to 16 years behind bars and will appear indefinitely on the sex offenders register after he was found guilty of three counts of indecent assault on a child.
Officers were alerted to Willcocks' offences in January 2017 and have spent two years gathering evidence to bring him to justice.
Detective Constable Bob Sandham said: “This has been a lengthy process involving an array of investigative techniques. However, the outcome today proves how worthwhile it is in bringing dangerous predators to justice.
“He sexually assaulted his young victim, which has had a devastating impact on her emotional wellbeing growing up.”
His victim shared an emotional statement saying: “I knew that I couldn’t let Martin get away with what he had put me through as a kid, and I couldn’t let him touch another kid like he did to me. Throughout the last 2 ½ years of the police investigation, I have sort of been on auto-pilot. I just kept seeing the end of this case and hoping that Martin would be found guilty of what he put me through.
“Since I got the call from DC Sandham on Friday 15th March 2019 [confirming Willcocks had been found guilty and remanded in custody], I just couldn’t believe it. I broke down in tears. I never thought this day would come and all those feelings of hurt and pain went away. I can actually start to really live my life now, knowing the truth has come out.
“I want Martin to know this. He took everything that he could from me, he will never get another chance to ruin my life again.”
DC Sandham continued: “No child should ever have to go through what this young girl was subject to and I really praise her bravery now and throughout the investigation which has allowed us to bring Willcocks to justice.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to reassure and urge anyone who has suffered a sexual offence that if you can find the courage to come forward and speak to us, we will deal with you sensitively and make sure that reports are properly and thoroughly investigated.