A LEERING paedophile who sexually abused a girl from the age of 13 has been jailed for 14 years.

Anthony Lane, known as Tony, was unanimously convicted of 13 counts of indecent assault at Worcester Crown Court this evening. The 78-year-old of Mayflower Road, Droitwich, hung his head in the dock and could not meet the woman's eyes, choosing instead to fiddle with his Covid-19 face mask.

In contrast, the survivor of his sexual abuse bravely read out her victim personal statement and watched as he was led down into the cells to begin his sentence.

Lane will be expected to serve at least two thirds of his prison sentence before being released on licence. When he learned his fate, the former welder gripped a rail in the dock as if for support.

The survivor, who has lifelong anonymity, said: "I stand before you today as a survivor of the worst crimes you can commit against an innocent child. I am a survivor of violent, physical abuse. I am a survivor of persistent emotional abuse.

"And most importantly, I am a survivor of child sexual abuse."

She told Lane: "I have never had a childhood."

The survivor also explained why she reported matters to police after 28 years - a chance encounter in the street when Lane made 'lewd comments and sexually suggestive mouth and hand movements interspersed with laughter'.

The defendant abused the survivor from the age of 13, groping her in the Lido in 1986. The abuse progressed to sexual assaults involving a wine bottle and a pen and to other acts of indecency, continuing until 1989. When she turned 16 he told her: "It's legal now."

Two jurors returned to watch the defendant sentenced by Judge Nicolas Cartwright who also made a sexual harm prevention order restricting his contact with children once he is released.

We will be bring you a full report in due course.