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Sheppey child abuser caged

A former school governor has been jailed for four years for sexually assaulting a young girl several years ago.

Andrew Lain was said to have a lack of boundaries at his home and an unorthodox lifestyle.

He was convicted on October 27 of two charges of sexual activity with a child in majority verdicts of 11-1 and 10-2.

The 45-year-old nudist was cleared of seven similar charges, one of causing a child to watch a sexual act and one of sexual assault involving three other girls. Lain, an ex-London bus driver, of Broad Street, Sheerness, denied all the charges.

But his lawyer said at the sentencing hearing that he "now appears to accept the reality of what happened all those years ago".

A jury at Maidstone Crown Court heard that after Lain molested the 12-year-old girl the matter was investigated the following year but police decided there was insufficient evidence to try him.

The case was reopened four years later after pornographic images were found on a laptop

Lain had also been accused of encouraging girls to drink and take drugs before indulging in sex with each other and to taking advantage of a "permissive environment".

He was cleared of allegations he filmed two girls having sex with each other on a webcam and showing one girl pornographic pictures on his laptop.

Prosecutor Sarah Campbell told the jury of six men and six women Lain fostered a permissive environment in relation to both drugs and alcohol.

Lain, who was asked to step down as a governor at Cheyne Middle School when the allegations surfaced, told how he visited nudist clubs and took naturist holidays in Europe.

He told the jury: "I have been known to slap a bum in jest."

Judge Philip Statman told Lain he had contested the case, as was his right, but the victim had to relive her ordeal in the witness box.

"She has a robust approach to getting on with her life but it awoke all that happened all those years ago," he added.

Lain, said to be in poor health and suffering from depression, will be on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.

A sexual offences prevention order was imposed and he will be banned from working with children.

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