A MAN who subjected a child to years of sexual abuse has been jailed for 13 years.

Rommel Torralba, of Lovely Lane, Bewsey, appeared in Liverpool Crown Court on Monday after his victim, now an adult, bravely told police about the years of abuse she had suffered at his hands.

The court heard how Torralba, 41, began abusing the victim when she was not yet a teenager, but cruelly said that she had initiated it by acting in a sexual nature towards him.

Mark Connor, prosecuting the case, said that as a teenager, the victim would suffer regular abuse and Torralba told her it was normal.

The court was told how the victim submitted because she was worried about the consequences as Torralba had a temper and could be violent.

In a victim personal statement read in court, she said: "I didn't really know how to react or what to do.

"When I look back now I can see I was young and vulnerable.

"His actions were selfish – he was only concerned about himself, not what I felt like and the damage he has caused."

Torralba had denied her accusations at first but then handed himself in to police.

John Hedgecoe, representing Torralba, stressed that he has no previous convictions and was previously a man of good character.

People who knew him believed that he is remorseful for his actions.

A statement was provided in court, written by Torralba, was read out as part of his mitigation.

It read: "I want to say that I am sorry.

"I destroyed her life.

"I realise how selfish I was and I hope that she will start to heal."

Judge Brian Cummings, sentencing, remarked: "It's clear from the victim personal statement that these offences have had a very serious effect on a vulnerable young person.

"She was driven to the point of suicide – the responsibility of this lies squarely with you.

"You abused this young child for many years."

Judge Cummings accepted that Torralba had turned himself in but added: "Even then, you did not make a clean break of everything you have done to her and sought to blame her as a child for inciting the initial sexual activity.

"Plainly, nothing other than a substantial prison sentence can be justified."

Torralba was sentenced for 14 counts of sexual offences including two charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and 12 charges of sexual activity with a child.

He will serve 13 years and nine months and must comply with a restraining order.

An NSPCC spokesperson said: "The years of intimidation and abuse that Torralba inflicted on this child has left her with devastating mental and emotional scars as an adult.

"Thankfully, she found the courage to speak out against his horrific campaign of abuse - and because of her bravery, he has finally faced justice.

"We hope she continues to receive the help she needs, and that her story encourages anyone else who has suffered sexual abuse, no matter when it happened, to speak out and seek support."

Children can contact Childline 24/7 on 0800 1111.

Adults who wish to report abuse or concerns for a child’s welfare can contact the NSPCC Helpline on 08088 005000.