October 2017

Man from Thetford jailed for six years for child abuse

A 50-year-old man who sexually abused a young girl has been jailed for six years and placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Mark O’Neill, of Chester Way, Thetford, had denied the sex assaults on the girl but was convicted by a jury following a trial at Norwich Crown Court and appeared for sentence.

Lindsay Cox, prosecuting, said that the girl was aged about seven when O’Neill had started to carry out the abuse.

Jonathan Goodman, for O’Neill, said that he still did not accept his guilt although realised that he had to accept the verdict of the court.

Jailing him Judge Maureen Bacon said he had used an element of coercion on the victim and said the report showed he posed a high risk of harm to children.

She told him: “You are still denying responsibility for these offences.”

She also made O’Neill subject to a sexual harm prevention order and banned him from working with children.