A man from Stanningfield who subjected a school girl to four years of repeated sexual assaults has today been jailed for 12 years.
Phillip Coe, 59, of Norse Avenue, was yesterday found guilty following a trial at Ipswich Crown Court.
The jury of six men and six women took two and a quarter hours to find Coe guilty of six offences of indecent assault and one of sexual activity with a child.
Coe, who had denied all the offences, has also been made subject to indefinite inclusion on the Sexual Offences Register and a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
Judge Martyn Levett told Coe that because of the abuse of trust, the age difference between him and his victim and the number of incidents covered by the charges, only a substantial prison term was appropriate.
During the trial the jury heard evidence from the victim about how over a four year period she had been sexually abused by Coe in Bury St Edmunds and in his van.
The girl - now a woman in her 20s - said the assaults began in the late 1990s with Coe indecently touching her before encouraging her to perform a sex act.
Prosecuting, David Wilson said the allegations against Coe emerged as a result of an entirely unconnected incident when the woman reported having been assaulted at a Christmas event in Thetford in 2013.
When she was being interviewed by police officers she revealed that she had been sexually assaulted by Coe around 10 years earlier.
Giving evidence in a recorded interview, the girl said that when the sexual assaults were taking place Coe had told her she was ‘pretty’ and that she was ‘special’.
The girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said Coe’s attentions ceased when she left school and obtained a job.
Coe was arrested in March 2014 and, while accepting that he had known he girl, denied having done anything wrong.
The allegations were ‘simply not true’, Coe told police. He said he was unable to explain why the girl would have made up the claims, the jury heard.