A man has been jailed for 28 years after subjecting his child victim to a catalogue of abuse spanning almost a decade. 

Richard Williams, 61, of Hartlepool, was today (August 8) jailed after police uncovered the 'abhorrent' abuse of the girl.

In 2018 a third party reported that Williams had sexually assaulted and raped the victim.

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Enquiries began, and the victim received specialist support while officers from CAVA (Child Abuse and Vulnerable Adults Investigation Unit) worked with other agencies to piece together what had happened over the years.

Williams was charged earlier this year and in May a jury at Teesside Crown Court found him guilty of:

  • 1 x rape of a female under 16
  • 4 x rape of a female over 16
  • 1 x indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16
  • 1 x Indecent assault on a woman over 16

Speaking after sentencing, Officer in the Case Acting Detective Sergeant Claire Baker, paid tribute to the woman for coming forward.

She said: “Even as an adult, the victim was terrified of Williams and she was initially very reluctant to take any action against him. However she wanted to see him brought to justice so she fully engaged in our investigation; I can’t praise her highly enough.

“She’s demonstrated such incredible strength and bravery and is now thriving; I hope today’s excellent result will help her on her continuing path to recovery and I wish her well.

Safeguarding Detective Chief Inspector Matt Murphy King added: “Williams lied and lied again, denying his actions even when there was the strongest of evidence against him. 

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“He did all he could to throw our enquiries off course but my officers shared a determination to achieve charges and bring him before the courts to face the consequences of his abhorrent actions. 

“Williams’ constant lying also meant the victim had to endure the stress of a trial, but she took it all in her stride and showed great courage and strength throughout.

“I’d reassure our communities that we will always investigate thoroughly any allegations of abuse, no matter how long ago it took place.”