A pervert who ‘ruined’ his victim’s life when he sexually abused her over a three-year period has been locked up for his sickening offences.

David Sydney Kellett targeted the girl when she was a child and she told a court “he ruined my childhood and changed my life in such a negative way. It has impacted on every part of my life”.

Her damning words were read out at Southampton Crown Court as the 75-year-old man responsible for the attack was jailed for 14 years in prison.

Kellet, of Sycamore Drive, Brotton, east Cleveland, was convicted of five counts of indecent assault, two counts of gross indecency and two counts of attempted rape, all on an underage girl.

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He was found not guilty of one count of indecent assault on a girl.

In her victim personal statement, read out during the hearing, the court heard that one of the biggest impacts that this experience has had on her was her relationships with those closest to her following the years of abuse.

She told how the impacts of Kellett’s actions have had a negative impact on how she parents her own children, saying: “To say that I am overprotective doesn’t really describe it. I am scared to let them out of my sight. I find it difficult to let them go to a friend’s house to play and I can’t let them go unless I know the parents of their friends. I just don’t trust people around my children.”

The court also heard how the woman often feels very low and anxious – with those feelings heightened after she had officially reported Kellet for the offences he had committed.

Police Constable Nicole Houghton, from Hampshire Constabulary, said: “This was an abhorrent series of sexual abuse against a child conducted by David Kellett and has hung over the victim now for many years; today’s ruling and sentencing is a huge milestone in securing justice for the victim.

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“While what occurred during the years of abuse is unlikely to ever heal, we hope that the fact David Kellett has now been imprisoned for a significant amount of time will provide some comfort and closure to her.

“The hope is that she can now begin to put this ordeal behind her – albeit the lasting impact of his actions are immeasurable - and move forward with re-building her life, knowing that justice has now been served.

“I want to place on record the bravery of the victim in not only reporting the incident many years later in the first place, but also the courage she has shown through what can only be described as a traumatic investigation and set of circumstances for her. She has had to re-live those moments, which will not have been easy for her at all.”

Kellet was also made subject to an indefinite order to sign on the sex offenders’ register following his conviction for sexually abusing the girl.