A Horncastle man has been jailed for 16 years after he was convicted by a jury of raping a young girl.
Michael Hicks had denied sexually abusing the child, who cannot be named, during the trial at Lincoln Crown Court.
But he was convicted of two charges of rape and six charges of sexual assault between December 2011 and April 2012.
He was also found guilty of a further charge of possessing indecent photographs of a child.
Grace Hale, prosecuting, said an investigation began after the girl’s mother discovered explicit text messages on her daughter’s mobile phone.
Hicks was arrested after police found two indecent photographs of the girl on his phone.
Hicks, 49, of High Street, Horncastle, denied sexually abusing the girl and claimed the photographs on his phone were not of the girl but of an adult woman.
Recorder Timothy Spencer QC, told Hicks: “Until about 18 months ago or so you were of exemplary character.
“I don’t know what aberration came over you or why you didn’t resist it.
“This was a cynical course of conduct over a number of months. It was exploitation.
“You have had a trial and you put the girl through the ordeal of giving evidence and put other people through the trauma of giving evidence.
“It means that I can extend to you no credit whatsoever for any plea of guilty or any expression of regret.
“I detect not a scintilla of remorse. That can mean only one thing, a significant sentence of imprisonment.”
Hicks was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and banned from working with children.
This is Lincolnshire