A VICTIM of sexual abuse as a child rued not reporting it to police earlier when she discovered the perpetrator went on to commit further offences involving another girl.

The now adult woman more recently reported the abuse she suffered in her younger days to a medical specialist and to a therapist.

Durham Crown Court heard a medical report was then seen by her mother and led to a complaint being made, resulting in the arrest of Richard Denham.

The 33-year-old defendant, of Pasture Row, Eldon, near Bishop Auckland, was charged with two counts each of indecent assault, indecency with a child and attempted rape, admitting them all on his first appearance in the case at Durham Crown Court.

The court was told he committed all the acts, culminating in two attempted rape offences on the younger child when he was in his teens.

Reading from her impact statement, prosecutor David Lamb said the abuse has clearly caused great psychological harm to the victim.

But, Mr Lamb told the court the victim has said “what hurts her most” was the “guilt” she feels for not having reported it earlier.

“She believes he went on to sexually abuse another young girl as he has a previous conviction from October 2004 for gross indecency with a child under 16.

“He pleaded ‘guilty’ to that and received a community rehabilitation order for two years, with five years on the Sex Offenders’ Register.”

Mr Lamb said those offences were committed when Denham was 17.

Nicholas Askins, for Denham, said that second case was Denham’s last “contact offence” and there was no evidence he has committed any offences featuring misuse of the internet more recently.

“I accept entirely the complainant in this case has suffered significant psychological harm.

“The worst aspect was that she learned the defendant committed an offence against another girl and she didn’t speak out.

“When the abuse began the defendant was probably aged about ten and would have been between 15 and 17 when it came to an end.”

Mr Askins said in his mother’s opinion Denham was an immature child but began misusing controlled drugs at the age of 15, during the course of the offending.

Judge James Adkin said Denham used the younger girl for his own sexual gratification.

Imposing a 68-month prison sentence he told Denham: “You knew what you were doing was quite wrong and made it clear you didn’t want to get caught.”

A Sexual Harm Prevention Order and restraining order forbids Denham contacting his victim, while he must also register as a sex offender, all for life