December 2009

Keighley man jailed for ‘calculate and wicked’ attack

A 38-year-old man has been jailed for 11 years for the “calculated and wicked” sexual exploitation of a vulnerable young girl.

A judge told Michael Ackroyd he played sinister mind games with the child to make her feel isolated before abusing and raping her.

Ackroyd, of South Street, Keighley, was convicted by a jury on Thursday of raping the girl twice and indecently assaulting her more than ten years ago.

In 2004, he was convicted of indecently assaulting another 11-year-old girl and jailed for eight months.

He was brought back to Bradford Crown Court for sentence yesterday.

Judge Peter Benson told Ackroyd he abused the girl in “a sinister and disturbing way”.

He procured her silence by playing mind games to make her feel isolated. “This was calculated and wicked exploitation of a vulnerable child,” said Judge Benson.

He said Ackroyd, who stood in the dock with head bowed, manipulated the child for his own gratification.

“You showed absolutely no remorse and lied to the end,” said the judge.

Ackroyd must sign on as a sex offender for life and he was made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order prohibiting him from unsupervised contact with children.

After the case, Detective Constable Claire Smith, of the Eccleshill Child and Public Protection unit, said: “It takes a great deal of courage for victims to speak out about sexual abuse and hopefully today’s result will give other victims of sexual abuse the courage to come forward.

“Victims can be sure that they will be treated with sympathy and understanding by the Police Child and Public Protection Unit who will investigate all offences reported to them, regardless of the passage of time.

“The conviction of Ackroyd should send a message out to all those who commit offences against children that West Yorkshire Police will pursue a prosecution against them, even many years later.”