A PAEDOPHILE has started a six-year jail sentence for repeatedly abusing a young girl over a four-year period.
Pervert Steven Nichol, 53, bribed the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, with treats in return for performing sick sex acts on him and blackmailed her into keeping quiet about the abuse she suffered at his hands.
Nichol, of Challoner Gardens, Morpeth, returned to Newcastle Crown Court for sentencing last Friday after being convicted by a jury of four counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, three charges of sexual activity with a child and one count of sexual assault on a child under 13.
Jolyon Perks, prosecuting, read extracts from a victim impact statement given by the girl as she watched from the public gallery.
Mr Perks said: “She feels that what the defendant did to her has greatly affected her childhood. She has a lot of anger.
“She is relieved that the jury believed her because the defendant told her no one would ever believe her.
“She felt blackmailed by him.
“He restricted her life. She couldn’t relax at school. She was controlled throughout the years in question.
“She said it was like living two separate lives, which was very draining.
“She said she wished she was dead and would cry herself to sleep, and her education was disrupted.”
He added: “Since he has been convicted, her anger has gone down.”
Christopher Knox, mitigating for Nichol, said his client deserved credit for being of previous good character.
Jailing him for six years, Judge James Goss told Nichol: “You were convicted of sexual offences which took place between 2006 and 2010.
“Sexual offences began affecting the girl when she was 12.
“She says she agreed to engage in these acts she knew were wrong in return for cigarettes, shoes and clothes.
“You continue to deny your offending, and you have no remorse for your behaviour. I have read the impact your offences have had on your victim.
“Clearly, it had a marked effect upon her childhood and has affected her daily.
“That’s hardly surprising, given the nature of the acts you caused her to engage in.”
Nichol was also ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register for life and was due back in court this week to be made subject to a sexual offences prevention order.