A 76-year-old man from Dunstable has been jailed for six years for sexually assaulting a young girl almost two decades ago.
Patrick Ryan, 76, of Poynters Road, started abusing the girl when she was 11 and 12.
This continued on a frequent basis for around a year from 1999 to 2000.
In 2017, she reported it to the police. Ryan was subsequently arrested and during questioning, he denied all allegations.
He was found guilty of three counts of indecent assault on a child at Luton Crown Court and on Thursday, September 12, he was handed a six-year custodial sentence, to run concurrently.
This will be followed by an extended licence period of a year and he will be listed on the sex offenders’ register.
Detective Constable Steve Francis, from the force’s Public Protection Unit, said: “I am pleased we were able to get justice for this young woman, who has had to live with the consequences of Ryan’s actions for almost 20 years.
“She was incredibly young when the abuse started and it has had a huge impact on her life ever since, so I would like to praise her for coming forward and helping us to lock up another sexual predator.
“We work hard to tackle child sexual abuse and put people like Ryan behind bars.
"This is a good example of how it is never too late to report sexual abuse: no matter how long ago it took place, your voice will be heard and you will be supported.”
If you have concerns about child sexual abuse report it to Bedfordshire Police on 101.