A PAEDOPHILE has been jailed for 12 years for the systematic abuse and rape of a seven-year-old girl in the 1980s.
Eugene McHugh, aged 50, denied the abuse ever took place but was convicted by a jury at Northampton Crown Court.
He was accused of preying on three girls, then aged between seven and 14 years, in the mid-1980s and early 1990s.
The jury cleared him of allegations involving two of the girls, now women in their 30s, but convicted him of six rapes and three indecent assaults.
Felicity Gerry, prosecuting, said: “This is not something made up in 2010; she made a complaint back in 1995, which was not acted upon.
“She had a number of personal problems, has been a drug addict, a prostitute and has been to prison.
“But it was not until she was older and strong enough that she went back to police in 2009.
“She was groomed by this defendant who gave her money and she just got to the point in her life where she said she believed she loved him. Not long after 1984 he started to sexually abuse her. You will hear how it happened many times, in her words, he had sex with her ‘loads of times’.”
The court heard McHugh took advantage of a lack of parental supervision to regularly abuse her.
McHugh, of Carlton Road, Kingsley, Northampton, was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment, placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and will be subject to a sexual offences’ prevention order upon release, banning contact or employment with anyone under 16.
Miss Gerry told the jury: “When interviewed the defendant said he did not find her sexually attractive but did comment that she looked older then her age. The issue for you to decide so that you are sure is whether this did happen. You will be told it did and you can be sure the witnesses are telling the truth.”
Sentencing, Judge Christopher Metcalf told him he had ruined his victim’s life.