Published: 12:40, 09 November 2018
| Updated: 15:54, 09 November 2018
A pervert who made sex abuse of a young girl seem like a secret game has been jailed for three years and four months.
Jack Gillett, 27, was aged 16 or 17 when he molested the victim, Maidstone Crown Court heard. She kept it a secret for many years and only reported it to the police last year.
Gillett, of Northview, Swanley, admitted one offence of oral rape of a girl under the age of 13 and four of sexual activity with a child.
Prosecutor Timothy Forster said the offences happened on four separate occasions.
“He made the touching sound like a game and told her to keep it a secret,” he said. “At her age, she didn’t understand and went along with his suggestions.”
Mr Forster said when the victim said she did not like a particular act, Gillett told her she did not have to do it. The final assault happened in a closet.
When the girl finally revealed what had happened, Gillett was confronted and admitted everything, said Mr Forster. He denied attempting to stop her reporting the abuse.
A victim impact statement by the girl revealed the severe psychological harm suffered, including suicide attempts, depression and the need for counselling.
"They are abhorrent offences - that goes without saying," - Orla Daly, defending
Orla Daly, defending, said Gillett had been diagnosed with autism.
“They are abhorrent offences - that goes without saying,” Miss Daly told the court. “The offences were committed against a child, but they are committed by a child.
“He has done his best to minimise the impact on the complainant. He faces sentence for something that happened a decade ago.”
Miss Daly added: “It would be a lenient course not to impose an immediate custodial sentence but it is an approach recommended by the probation service and justifiable given the gap since the offending occurred, his age at the time and his autism.
“He is devastated and extremely upset about his behaviour.”
Judge Julian Smith said Gillett’s culpability was reduced because of his age at the time of the offences. Custody would “present a great challenge” to him.
“I accept your remorse expressed is genuine,” he said. “I must also have regard to the impact of your behaviour on the victim, who has suffered greatly as a result of this.”
The judge said he could not accede to the submission that the sentence could be suspended, but added it could be “reduced by the maximum available to me”.
Gillett’s name will appear indefinitely on the sex offenders’ register and he will be barred from working with children and vulnerable adults.
NSPCC spokesman Hayley Pierre said: “This survivor of child sexual abuse has suffered immeasurably at Gillet’s hands and it has clearly taken a great deal of courage to come forward and recount her ordeal.
“Thanks to her, justice has been served. And it’s important to stress that victims of this awful crime will always be listened to, no matter how long ago the abuse was carried out.”