A pensioner has been jailed for 16 years for multiple sexual offences against a child.
Peter John Smith, aged 78, of Hounslow, London, was sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday for seven counts of rape. He was handed a custodial term of 16 years and a further year on extended licence.
Smith was found guilty after a trial in February. He was also made to sign the sex offenders’ register.
The offences relate to one child and took place between 1969 and 1974 in Barry.
In a victim personal statement read in court, the woman said the defendant’s actions continue to have a lasting impact on her and that she suffers with nightmares.
She said she couldn’t speak out at the time as she felt she wouldn’t be believed if she reported the abuse.
Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Mark Wonnacott, of Barry CID, praised the courage of the victim who helped to ensure Smith’s conviction.
He said: “The victim in this case was a child when she was preyed on by Peter Smith.
“I thank her for having the courage to report the abuse and support the prosecution and I hope today’s sentencing will give her and her family some closure and comfort as they begin to move on with their lives.
“I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to come forward to report such appalling crimes but I want to reassure anyone considering doing so that there is a whole range of support out there, not only from the police but from partner agencies who can help you through the entire process.
“Officers in Bridgend and the Vale of Glamorgan will continue to work tirelessly to protect children and bring perpetrators of child abuse to justice.”
Sexual abuse can be reported via 101, or to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Alternatively, help, advice and support can be sought from Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARC). Visit http://thesurvivorstrust.org/sarc/ or contact 02920 335795.