A South Lincolnshire man who sexually abused a young girl on frequent occasions was today jailed for 12 years.
Darren Barnes, 47, from Tydd Gote, obtained his victim’s silence by telling her that “God would not forgive her.”
Lincoln Crown Court heard Barnes repeatedly abused the girl, who can not be named, while she was aged between 8 and 11.
Gareth Gimson, prosecuting, said the abuse started with touching over the girl’s clothing and progressed to more serious incidents where he asked her to remove her clothes.
Mr Gimson said Barnes also showed the girl pornographic movies and tried to groom her by offering her £40 in cash and giving her a mobile phone.
The abuse included one incident of oral rape and came to an end when the girl reached puberty and asked for it to stop.
Mr Gimson added: “He obtained her silence by telling her that she would be in trouble and God would not forgive her.”
She reported the matter to her mother in 2012 but at the time said she did not want to say anything.
Cambridgeshire Police became involved in 2014 when Barnes’ own wife reported the matter to the church and he made partial admissions, but the matter did not progress until 2017 when officers found over 200 indecent images of children on two laptops at his home.
The indecent images included movies of children who were clearly distressed and who had been tied up.
In a victim impact statement, the girl said she had lost her self esteem and innocence at a time when she should have been enjoying her childhood.
The court heard Barnes, who had no previous convictions, was “disgusted with himself” and did not want his victim to go through the trauma of a trial.
Barnes, of Station Road, Tydd Gote, admitted 11 sexual offences including indecent assault, indecency with a child, sexual assault of a child under 13 and one offence of rape of a child under 13.
He also admitted three further charges of making indecent images of children.
Passing sentence Judge John Pini QC told Barnes he had “targeted, groomed and sexually abused” his victim over a four year period.
He was also made the subject of a one year licence extension to his custodial sentence and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, and must register as a sex offender for life.