Jail for 74-year-old Lowestoft man who assaulted schoolgirl

A 74-year-old man was today jailed for sexually abusing a schoolgirl over a period of two years.

Sentencing Edwin Reay at Ipswich Crown Court, Judge John Devaux said he had sexually assaulted the youngster when she was under 13 and he was 69 or 70.

He said the girl had thought that what had gone on was her fault and at the time had been scared to tell her parents because she feared they would shout at her for letting Reay do what he had done.

'You took a huge risk with that girl's emotional well-being in the repeated abuse you inflicted on her,' said the judge.

He said Reay had no previous convictions and had an excellent work record.

Reay, of Links Close, Lowestoft, had denied oral rape, three offences of sexual assault on a child, three offences of assault by penetration, engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity but was found guilty by a jury after a trial in April.

Sentence had been adjourned until yesterday for a pre-sentence report.

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In addition to being jailed for 11 years Reay was ordered to sign on the sex offenders' register for life and was made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order.

During the trial the court heard that the offences came to light after the girl wrote down in a letter to her parents what Reay had done to her during visits to his home. The court heard that he told the girl he would buy her something nice if she did as he asked.

After his arrest Reay had 'flatly denied' the allegations and said nothing inappropriate or sexual had taken place and he maintained that stance while giving evidence in court.

Andrew Thompson for Reay said his client had no previous convictions and had been assessed as being a low risk of re-offending.

He said Reay was in poor health and had restricted mobility. He said his client's wife was standing by him and she would be affected if he was sent to prison.

The victim was aged ten when the offences started.

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