A 67-year-old who was once England’s most tattooed man has been jailed for 10 years for sexual abuse committed over 20 years ago.
William Ball was told by a judge he had corrupted his victim by giving her money for sexual activity.
Ball, who is heavily tattooed over his face and bald head, was living in Deal at the time of the offences.
He was told his behaviour had a long lasting affect on the victim despite events happening over 20 years ago.
Ball, of The Downs, Preston, was convicted at Canterbury Crown Court of six rapes and eight indecent assaults which trial prosecutor Patricia Lees said reflected a sustained campaign of sexual abuse.
He told the court he got his first tattoo at 15 and added more over the years.
“At one time I was the most tattooed man in England,” he said. He started getting his face and head tattooed when in Canada and was going in for circus work.
Three times married, Ball worked in the pits, giving up after an accident, then worked as a postman, but again gave up the work after a fall.
He admitted having sex with the victim but said it was only after the girl was 16 and claimed she initiated sexual acts between them.
Ball, who had convictions for shoplifting and poaching, now walked with two sticks and was said by his lawyer to be on extensive medication.
Deborah Charles said there were medical and psychiatric reports before the court and very little could be said in mitigation about the offences.
Jailing Ball, Judge Adele Williams said: “She was a vulnerable child. You corrupted her by giving her money for sexual activity.
“I bear in mind these events took place over 20 years ago, but they have had a long lasting affect on your victim and having seen and heard her give evidence there can be no doubt of the effect on her.
“These remain very grave offences and must be punished accordingly.”
Ball will be subject of a sexual offences prevention order and on the sex offenders’ register for life. He is also banned for life from working with children.