A North East paedophile who subjected a teenage schoolgirl to years of abuse is now behind bars after being convicted of a string of sex offences.
57 year old John Cranston, has been jailed for 14 years after the prolonged spell of abuse between 2008 and 2014.
His victim was initially too terrified to tell anyone about what had been going on but eventually reported the abuse to police in July 2016.
Cranston, of Axwell Park, Blaydon, was arrested but denied abusing the youngster and claimed that she had made it up.
He was eventually charged with a string of sex offences and later convicted at Newcastle Crown Court.
On July 9 he was jailed for 14 years for charges including sexual assault on child, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, sexual assault by penetration.
Now the investigating officer in the case has praised the victim’s bravery and said it could inspire other victims of historical abuse to come forward.
Detective Constable Stefan Noakes, of Northumbria Police’s Safeguarding Department, said:
“The victim in this case suffered years of abuse at the hands of John Cranston and that is something that will stay with her for the rest of her life.”
“She was first targeted when she was just nine-years-old and so would have no real idea about what was going on.”
“Cranston had a hold over her and believed he could do whatever he wanted and would never get caught.”
“As the years went by he must have believed he had gotten away with his abuse but now he is behind bars where he belongs.”
“The victim in this case found the courage to come forward to police and tell us what had happened. That is an incredibly brave thing to do.”
“I hope that this conviction helps her to move on with her life but she should be applauded for helping to put a predatory paedophile behind bars.”
“This case shows that men like John Cranston can be convicted even years after the abuse has taken place.”
“Hopefully other victims of historical sex offences, who are yet to contact police, can look at this case and see that police will take your case seriously.”
Following the case, the victim in the case said:
“What happened to me will stay with me forever. It robbed me of my childhood but I am determined not to let it ruin the rest of my life.”
As well as the jail sentence, Cranston was also made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and made to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.