A South Yorkshire man has been jailed for 15 years for raping a girl under 10 years old.
Dale Gavin Smith, aged 35, of Vernon Street, Wombwell, Barnsley, repeatedly abused his victim over a nine-month period when she was under 10 years old, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
His victim, who is now in her 20s, reported the historic offences to South Yorkshire Police and Smith was found guilty of three counts of rape, two counts of indecent assault and four counts of indecency with a child after a trial.
Detective Inspector Gary Askew described the offences as 'horrific'.
“This brave victim, who is now a young woman, came forward to police to report the awful abuse she suffered as a young child at Smith’s hands," he said.
“She has been incredibly courageous and has shown such strength through a lengthy police investigation and subsequent trial.
“Smith refused to accept responsibility for his crimes and this woman had to relive her abuse before a jury, who convicted Smith of multiple horrific offences.
“I hope this case illustrates that we will pursue offenders of this vile crime no matter when it happened. Please, if you or someone else you know is suffering as a result of child abuse, come forward and talk to someone.”
In addition to prison, Smith was handed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register.
Smith was convicted in February but his case can only now be made public after a second trial he was facing ended last week, when he was cleared of sex offences.