Child sex offender jailed for 22 years
A child sex offender from Maidstone has been sentenced to 22 years in prison after being found guilty of multiple offences including rape.
Mark Stanford was convicted at Maidstone Crown Court to two counts of rape, six counts of indecent assault, and a further count of gross indecency with a child.
The court heard Stanford repeatedly abused his victim over a three year period, between 1999 and 2002. An investigation was launched by Kent Police after the victim reported the abuse in May 2016.
Stanford, aged 55, of St Peter’s Street, Maidstone, was arrested and charged shortly afterwards. He pleaded not guilty at court and the case went to trial. A jury convicted him on all counts and on Thursday 13 June 2019 Stanford was sentenced to 22 years. He was also given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
Detective Sergeant Lisa Featherstone, from the West Kent Vulnerable Investigation Team, said: ‘Stanford subjected a young child to the most appalling abuse and used their fear and vulnerability to ensure the child complied with his demands.
‘I would like to thank the victim, who has been incredibly brave to come forward and give evidence in this trial. The damage Stanford he has caused is incalculable and has had a profound and devastating impact. I only hope now the victim will be able to move forward from this, knowing Stanford is serving a lengthy prison sentence.
‘Successful convictions such as this are just one of the reasons we continue to urge anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse to contact the police. It is never too late to report any sexual offence and we will always treat any information with the upmost confidence and sensitivity.’