Taxi driver abused 14-year-old after sending notes through school friend

PUBLISHED: 12:53 31 August 2019

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A judge has said child sexual abusers must expect punishment no matter how old the crime, as he jailed a man for an attack which happened more than 25 years ago.

Martin Day-Walker, 57, had been working as a taxi driver in north Norfolk at the time and met up with a 14-year-old victim after sending her notes through one of her school friends, Norwich Crown Court heard on Friday.

Day-Walker kissed the girl after taking her to an isolated wooded area in his car and on another occasion simulated sex with her over her clothing, the court was told.

Joanne Eley, prosecuting, said the girl had made entries in her diary about the abuse and it was not until her own daughter had reached 14 that she realised how she had been groomed by Day-Walker and went to the police to make a complaint.

The court heard the abuse had a profound effect on the victim, who suffered with anxiety and panic attacks as a result of what happened.

Day-Walker, of High Street, East Runton, admitted indecent assault on a girl under 16 and was jailed for 20 months and placed on the sex offender's register for seven years.

Jailing him, Judge Andrew Shaw said his victim was just 14 at the time and said the thought of her daughter being abused in this way was what finally made her come forward.

"You groomed her to take advantage of her immaturity."

He added: "Child sex ruins lives and ruins lives forever."

Judge Shaw accepted that Day-Walker was a different person to the one he was more than 25 years ago but said the message had to be clear.

He said: "Those who sexually abuse children must expect punishment, even if it is years later."

Gavin Cowe, for Day-Walker, said that he had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

"He is a very different man today to what he was 25 years ago."

He said he had been going through a difficult time in his life when he committed the offences.

"He has expressed remorse."

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