A man who repeatedly sexually abused a girl has been jailed for eight years.
Anthony Dawkins’ victim had suffered serious psychological trauma and was said to have been haunted by the memory of what happened to her.
Dawkins, 68, from Princess Avenue, Poulton, had pleaded guilty to six charges of indecent assault.
The offences date back some years.
Peter Warne, prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, said Dawkins had groomed the girl.
It had started with inappropriate touching and led to other behaviour. The girl was under 16 years of age.
Dawkins was arrested in 2012 and was later interviewed on a number of occasions.
There were general denials, with him saying it never happened in a billion years.
He also said he was a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints and took his religion seriously.
When passing sentence, the judge said that remark by the defendant had been one of “supreme hypocrisy”.
Dawkins had suggested to police the victim had a vivid imagination.
In an impact statement, the victim, who is now an adult, said she went “off the rails” because of what happened.
Dawkins’ behaviour had a major effect on her.
The court was told Dawkins was a man of previous good character.
Rosalind Emsley-Smith, defending, said he had been candid and open about the events that had caused him “significant torment”.
“It is clear Mr Dawkins has been tormented for some time in respect of the memory and reality of his own behaviour”, she told the court.
“He has struggled to come to terms with his own behaviour. He accepted full responsibility for the abuse that he perpetrated.
“He is absolutely consumed by shame. He has regret and remorse.
“He describes his own behaviour as evil and despicable. He would wish to make his apology”.
Judge Robert Altham said in passing sentence the offences were serious.
He said the victim had suffered serious psychological trauma.
Dawkins will be on the Sex Offender’s Register for life.