A PAEDOPHILE was jailed for nine years and told by a judge that his victim’s life had been blighted.
Six years of abuse only ended when she was in her mid-teens, leaving her suicidal and feeling helpless, a court heard.
Judge Andrew Hamilton told 65-year-old Peter Widdowson: ”She has been robbed of her childhood. I am afraid there is nothing I can do to give that back.
”It was a most awful experience – there was nothing she could do to avoid it. Nobody can blame her whatsoever. She must feel no guilt whatsoever.”
Widdowson, of Brookside, Belper, admitted six charges of sexual abuse ending in 1992.
He was put on the Sex Offenders’ Register and banned from unsupervised contact with any girl under 16.
Gareth Gimson, prosecuting, said in a statement, the victim said: “I can remember saying ‘stop it’ but he kept going.
”He just ignored me when I said ‘stop it.’
“I just could not escape him.”
Mr Gimson told Nottingham Crown Court the victim was left feeling suicidal and described ”several times she wanted to die”.
He said: ”Her childhood was stolen from her. It scarred other relationships.
”She was feeling violated, terrified and terribly disempowered. He was initially trying to make it some sort of game.”
Gurdial Singh, for Widdowson, said he was not involved in religion at the time of the offences but told the judge: ”In 2000, he found God.
”He is now a religious man. He accepts he is going to go into custody and has come here with a bag today.
“He stands by his faith which has enabled him to come to terms with his criminality.
”He entered prompt guilty pleas at the first opportunity. He entered those pleas and avoided any trial.
”He is someone who is well thought of. He knows he is going to be punished,” added Mr Singh.
Widdowson had no previous convictions.
Detective Constable Emily Town, who investigated the case, said: ”I praise the bravery of the victim for finding the courage to come forward.
“I hope the sentence will allow her to put this behind her and move forward with her life.
”Being sent to prison reflects the severity of the crime. Derbyshire police always take reports of sexual abuse very seriously and offences like this, which were committed many years ago, will be investigated thoroughly,” she added.
During the hearing, the judge said Widdowson had to be sentenced under old laws because of the dates of the offences. It meant a ten-year term was the maximum.
But now the normal range of prison terms was between 11 and 17 years.
The judge added: ”It indicates the serious nature Parliament takes of people who commit this type of offence.”