A woman who was subjected to vile sexual abuse as a child helped to bring her attacker to justice after she spoke out more than 25 years after the horrific attacks began.
Allan Benton’s wicked crimes caused lasting damage to his victim, a court was told.
The 72-year-old, of Oban Place, Bispham, was jailed for more than 13 years after he pleaded guilty to six offences spanning a four-year period in the late 80s and early 90s.
Police today praised the victim for coming forward to help bring the “horrendous” crimes to light.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said it was years before she realised the true extent of the impact the crimes had on her life.
In a victim impact statement prepared for Preston Crown Court, she said the abuse left her suicidal and feeling like a “despicable, dirty, untrustworthy failure.”
She added: “The emotional and mental scars have and will continue to haunt me for the rest of my life.
“I have spent my entire life never feeling good enough, capable or worthy of anything, including being a parent myself.
“The reality is I have spent my life very sad and feeling very alone.”
Following a lengthy police investigation, Benton pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a child, one of indecent assault and two charges of gross indecency at Preston Crown Court earlier this year.
Last week, he was jailed for 13 years and six months.
Detectives, who today welcomed the sentence, say they hope the case will encourage other victims of sexual abuse to feel confident to come forward.
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “Benton targeted a young and vulnerable victim and subjected her to a horrendous catalogue of sexual abuse over several years.
“His victim’s courage in coming forward to report these traumatic events to the police cannot be overstated and she deserves tremendous praise.
“Lancashire Constabulary remains committed to investigating allegations of this nature, no matter how historic, and we would encourage anyone who has been a victim of a sexual offence to come forward safe in the knowledge that they will be treated sensitively and professionally.”