A former Dunstable primary school headteacher has been jailed for 45 months after he admitted sexually abusing a girl between 2003 and 2006.
Alisdair Hamilton, 72, of Egmont Way, Colchester, was headteacher of Lancot Lower School in Dunstable during the 1990s.
Hamilton initially denied two offences of indecent assault and six of sexual assault but on the fourth day of his trial at Ipswich Crown Court last month, he admitted one offence of indecent assault and six of sexual assault.
The victim’s mother told the Gazette: “It was child grooming. He won the trust and love of our family and he would do things to help us out. It was all so that he could get closer to her.
“Nothing like this had ever happened in our family before and we didn’t know what to do.”
The court heard that Hamilton kissed the girl on the mouth and touched her sexually.
The victim’s parents chose not to contact police when she confided the abuse to them in 2006, however she made the decision to report him on reaching adulthood.
In a harrowing statement, she said: “Growing up through my teenage years and now and again as a young adult I often feel worthless and anxious during every day life.
“As a child coming to terms with the sexual abuse was not as traumatic and devastating as it was when I grew older...
“Alisdair robbed me of my innocence when my body and mind were immature and vulnerable.
“I have had to cope and deal with the memories or sexual abuse that I can remember...
“I know first-hand the innocence of a child’s mind and the trust they have in adults.
“This is the main reason after all those years I came forward – to protect vulnerable children and adults who may not have support or the courage to come forward in fear they won’t be believed.”
The woman said she hoped to encourage other victims of child sexual abuse to come forward.
In a grovelling letter of apology to the vicitm and her family, Hamilton said: “I cannot in any way compenate or all the unhappiness, stress and misery I have caused.
“I do, however, hope sincerely that despite everything, she will be able to lead a happy life, forming positive relationships, and that from this letter of apology and my admission of guilt she will be able to regain that which I ruthlessly and selfishly took away from her innocent years.”