A CHILD rapist who subjected a young girl to three years of abuse has been jailed for 20 years.

Andoversford carpenter Patrick Moran, 50, was convicted last week of four sample offences of raping the girl when she was aged between six and nine.

He was found guilty of a catalogue of serious sexual offences which included rape, sexual assault and cruelty.

Judge William Hart said the rapes had been “repeated and sustained over a period of three years and took place countless times”.

For all those offences Moran was sentenced to a total of eighteen and a half years jail but he also received an 18 months consecutive sentence for two offences of cruelty to a young boy during the same period.

The offences all occurred between December 2009 and March last year.

Passing sentence on Moran, of Templefields, Andoversford, Judge Hart said: “The impact of this will colour the whole of the rest of her life. Any abuse of this extreme sort on one so young is a burden she will struggle to bear indefinitely.

“I regard this as a case where the child was particularly vulnerable because of her extreme youth, where the rapes were repeated and sustained over a period of three years and took place countless times.”

Moran sat silently as the judge passed sentence but asked to speak as he was led to the cells to which the judge replied firmly “No”.

At the start of the trial prosecutor Sarah Regan said the girl was only five when Moran first started to prey upon her.

Three years of abuse followed and it came to light only because the girl’s mother attempted to commit suicide, said Ms Regan, Social services began to investigate the child welfare issue in the light of her attempt and it was then the girl revealed that Moran was regularly abusing her.

His violence towards the young boy was revealed as enquiries progressed.

Moran denied the charges throughout the trial but his barrister Jane Rowley said both her and her client accepted he had been convicted after a fair trial. He had no sexual offences on his record and one historic offence of violence as a teenager.

He was a hard working man who had made a positive contribution to society, she added.

Judge Hart told Moran that the minimum sentence he could receive was 16 years but he considered that was not enough, He passed eighteen and a half years concurrrently on each rape offences, ten years for each offence of assault by penetration and four years for the offences of sexual assault of a child with 12 months for cruelty to the girl. All those sentences will run concurrently with each other.

For the cruelty to the boy he passed a consecutive 18 months sentence, making a total of 20 years of which Moran will have to serve half before being paroled.

Judge Hart told him he will also have to sign the sex offenders register for the rest of his life.