A pensioner accused of sexually assaulting an schoolgirl did not deny responsibility when challenged but claimed he could not recall the offences.
John Michael Robinson went on to admit six counts of sexual assault at a plea hearing at Durham Crown Court, in August.
He has now been jailed for 80-months, with a year’s extended licence on his release.
The court heard the first five counts related to specific incidents, but the sixth covered at least ten further assaults.
Robinson, 65, of Blackett Close, Etherley Dene, Bishop Auckland, was arrested earlier this year after the victim reported it to a school support worker.
Jane Waugh, prosecuting, said Robinson had previously told the girl not to tell anyone what had taken place as he, “could go to prison for this.”
But when she did reveal what had happened, Robinson was arrested and told police that if she said it happened, “it happened”, but claimed he could not remember the incidents.
Jailing him, Judge James Adkin told Robinson: “You used her for sex and caused her severe long-term damage.”
He will be subject to lifetime sex offender registration and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, both for life.