March 2017

Soldier jailed for abusing four-year-old

A soldier stationed in Warminster who repeatedly tried to rape a four-year-old girl while he was babysitting has been jailed for ten years.

A judge said 31-year-old Gary Levitt of Elsecar in Barnsley showed no remorse and had taken away the child’s innocence, which had ruined the girl’s childhood

He groomed and horrifically abused the youngster for nearly two years

He denied the offences between February 2014 and December 2015, forcing his young victim to give evidence against him at court.

A jury convicted him of two counts of attempted rape and another of causing or inciting the girl to engage in sexual activity.

He had been charged with raping the girl but was cleared of those counts, being convicted of two alternatives of attempted rape.

He was also accused of sexually abusing two other children, but the jury of seven men and five women found him not guilty of those charges.

Referring to the guilty verdicts Colin Meeke, prosecuting, said “He was effectively in loco parentis. There is an element of grooming behaviour.”

Jailing him Judge Tim Mousley QC said “You have been convicted of extremely serious offences.

“I don’t need to repeat the facts in any great detail but you seriously abused a very young girl over a period of time and it culminated in your attempt to rape her.

“I have read the statement setting out what the impact has been so far on her and her family.

“What the impact will be on her and them for many years in the future is obviously completely uncertain.

“I am wholly satisfied it will be an impact that is both extreme and long lasting. You took away her innocence. You ruined her childhood.

“You may well have ruined her life and the emotional scars that are borne by the family are very, very, deep indeed and of course a custodial sentence is inevitable.

He told him that he would be eligible to apply for parole at the halfway point of the sentence and at the end of 10 years he would be on licence for an extra 12 months.

The judge also imposed a sexual harm prevention order and told him he must register as a sex offender for life and is banned from working with children.