July 2017

Plymouth pervert jailed for 12 years for abusing girl and driving her to attempt suicide

A pervert has been jailed for 12 years for abusing a girl and driving her to repeated suicide attempts.

Depraved taxi driver Paul Jennings often filmed himself and the girl and kept a vile collection of indecent images, a court heard.

The 61-year-old groomed the child for eight years, ending up simply offering her cash for sexual favours.

His victim was so tormented she tried to take her life several times from the age of 13, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

She also scrubbed herself with bleach because she regarded herself as unclean after his abuse.

Jailing him for 12 years for 23 offences, Judge Paul Darlow said: “These charges reflect over an eight-year period reflecting systematic abuse. Photographs were taken and kept by you as record.

“It has had a severe psychological impact which no doubt she will have to life with for the rest of her life.”

Jennings, of Middlefield Road, Southway, had earlier pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent or sexual assault, two counts of indecency with a child, four counts of sexual activity with a child, three counts of engaging a child to engage in sexual activity, six counts of possession of indecent images and one of possession of an extreme pornographic image.

The first offence was committed in 2001 with the indecent images found upon his arrest last year.

Some of the counts represent multiple occasions of abuse.

His victim reported the offences to police last July.

Lee Bremridge, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Jennings had started to groom the girl. He added the defendant touched the child indecently, plying her with sweets or money.

He said that Jennings would often film her or them together performing indecent acts.

Mr Bremridge said that as she grew older Jennings would give her lifts as a taxi driver or offer her as much as £100.

He added that police seized his sick video library, mostly of images of his victim, but also including other images downloaded from the internet.

The barrister said the woman told police she had started self-harming from the early days of abuse and had tried to take her own life several times since the age of 13.