March 2021

Pictured: ‘Monster’ who sexually abused six-year-old girl

A “monster” who sexually molested a six-year-old schoolgirl has been jailed.

Craig Townsend, 35, committed the offences in the Charnwood area over a period of several years.

The victim reported the abuse to the police in 2018, and attended Leicester Crown Court today to see him sentenced.

Townsend, formerly of Sileby, was convicted by a jury of three counts of sexually assaulting a girl under 13, and one of causing or inciting her to engage in sexual activity.

Esther Harrison, prosecuting, said that one of the victim’s adult relatives made a personal impact statement on her behalf and described Townsend as “a monster” for targeting such a young child, and said his actions had violated the victim’s “body and mind.”

The relative added: “He needs to understand how much pain and suffering she (the victim) felt.”

The complainant has undergone counselling and still suffers from anxiety and panic attacks.

Townsend denied the charges and still maintains his innocence, the court was told.

Sentencing Townsend, Judge Philip Head told him: “Your activities, designed by you, were a form of grooming.”

During the trial, the court heard how he had kissed the girl and the offences progressed to sexual contact.

Townsend had previous convictions for motoring, dishonesty and violence, last appearing in court in 2005, and had nothing on his record for sex offending, the jury was told.