A PENSIONER has been jailed for 13 years for a catalogue of sex attacks on a seven-year-old girl.

Donald Cassidy, aged 70, was convicted of 11 counts of indecent assault and one count of rape during a hearing at Chester Crown Court today, Monday. 

The court heard Cassidy preyed on his young victim when she was aged seven.

The majority of the incidents took place in the garage of his former home in Burtonwood. Another incident took place in Gorsey Lane, Burtonwood, when Cassidy had taken the young victim to see horses in a field.

The abuse started back in 1974 and spanned a period of seven years.

DCI Paul Beauchamp said: "Cassidy preyed on the vulnerability of his young victim for his own sexual gratification.

"He betrayed her trust and the trust of her family. What happened during that period will stay with the victim for the rest of her life.

"She has had to live with the memory of what he has done.

"She has been incredibly brave throughout the case and was forced to relive the incident during the trial.

"I would like to thank the victim for her willingness to stand up to her attacker and see him brought to justice.

"Today′s guilty verdict will hopefully help to bring about a degree of closure for her and her family.

"Cheshire Police takes all allegations of sexual offences extremely seriously − no matter how long ago they took place.

"Victims of non-recent sexual offences can have the confidence in coming forward − we want to reassure victims that we are committed to tackling this type of crime and ensuring those responsible are brought to justice

"The force has a dedicated rape unit that deals specifically with this type of crime − and has specialist officers who are able to provide support to victims and witnesses throughout an investigation.

"The victim in this case is receiving the appropriate support to help her come terms with what has happened.

"I hope this sentence - and the bravery and courage shown by the victim - gives others who may have suffered in silence the courage to come forward."