A father-of-three, who groomed a vulnerable young girl and sexually molested her when he was a teenager, has been jailed for two and a half years.
Bradford Crown Court heard that the victim of Paul Morrow still suffered nightmares – 20 years after the abuse took place.
Jailing the 36-year-old, the Recorder of Bradford, Judge Roger Thomas QC, said: “This was behaviour you conducted over a period of time, a matter of years. Clearly there was some planning and forethought to it. Clearly it was a breach of trust. In many ways you groomed her to this conduct.”
The court heard the offences took place in Shipley in the 1990s, when the girl was between eight and ten and Morrow was aged between 14 and 17.
Morrow, of Longroyd Crescent, Huddersfield, had pleaded guilty to three charges of sexual assault against the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, and was convicted of two further charges of indecent assault after a trial last month.
The jury cleared him of 11 further charges of indecent assault and one of attempted rape.
At yesterday’s sentencing hearing, prosecutor Sarah Mallett said the victim was a vulnerable child and Morrow had threatened she would be taken into care if she reported what had happened.
The woman, in a victim impact statement made after the trial, said Morrow, as a teenager, thought he was a Jack the lad and had numerous girlfriends.
She said the abuse had haunted her for 20 years. She was still unable to sleep due to nightmares, could not bond affectionately with her children, was low in self-esteem and could not leave the house alone.
Morrow’s barrister, Jayne Beckett, said he had been found not guilty of the most serious allegations, and he was now a completely different person and was trying to be a father to his three young children.
Judge Thomas said Morrow’s explanation to police, social services and the jury was that his sexual misbehaviour was the product of a genuine love and affection for the girl.
The judge said: “You also were for saying that she participated in, and welcomed, your sexual activity towards her, she joined in with that sexual activity. That is not the basis on which I sentence you. That was a pathetic and untrue effort to try and belittle those allegations against you.
“You took advantage of her. What happened to her as a young child has haunted her.”
Morrow was made subject of an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order and ordered to register indefinitely as a sex offender with the police.