Detectives have praised the bravery of a young sex abuse victim and his family as his attacker is jailed for 12 years.

Daniyal Hussain was found guilty of raping the pre-school boy over a number of years when he was a teenager himself.

Specialist officers from Cleveland Police’s Child Abuse and Vulnerable Adult Unit (CAVA) supported the child and his family throughout the investigation and the court process.

Speaking after the hearing, CAVA Detective Constable Rebecca Lisle said she hoped the sentence wold help heal the youngster's pain.

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She said: “This was a very distressing case with a child victim and their family who, in giving their evidence, had to relive the trauma they had already endured.

“I hope this result will go some way to help them as they try to come to terms with what they have gone through.”

Hussain admitted the offences in a series of text messages but denied the charges when he appeared before a judge at Teesside Crown Court.

Safeguarding and CAVA Chief Inspector Deb Fenny added: “Despite knowing full well what he had done, Hussain persisted in lying and twisting the child and his family’s evidence to make it seem as if he was innocent.

“I am pleased that the jury saw through his brazen performance in court, and I hope that today’s sentence will go some way to helping the victim and his family come to terms with their ordeal.

“Finally, I would urge anyone who has experienced such abuse - or who wants to report on behalf of somebody else - to get in touch with Cleveland Police.

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"We will listen to you; we will believe you and we will support you while working with our partner agencies to bring perpetrators to justice.”

The Northern Echo: Daniyal HussainDaniyal Hussain (Image: Cleveland Police)

The 22-year-old, of Thackeray Grove, Middlesbrough, was convicted of five counts of rape on a child under 13 and three charges of engaging in sexual activity with a child under 13.

He was also issued with an indefinite restraining order to stay away from his victim and ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register for life.