A CHILD rapist who repeatedly preyed on a nine-year old girl has been jailed for 10 years.

Depraved paedophile Christopher Towner broke down in tears yesterday as he was sentenced for his vile campaign of child sex abuse.

The 52-year old of High Street, Swanage, had denied a string of counts alleging indecent assault and rape of one child victim.

A jury at Oxford Crown Court found him guilty on six counts and offences which took place in the Banbury area in the 1990s.

Towner, who has over 100 previous convictions but none for similar offences, sexually molested his victim - who cannot be named for legal reasons, before moving on to carry out other sexual acts and rapes.

On one occasion, he sexually assaulted the victim whilst another child was present.

He repeatedly raped her on a number of occasions throughout the period of abuse.

The court heard at his sentencing hearing how he told the girl, who is now a woman, that her parents did not love her, an element which formed part of his grooming of his victim.

In a victim personal statement summarised to the court, the woman revealed that she now suffers from a number of mental health problems as a result of what she was subjected to, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

She also no longer trusts herself, prosecutors said, and no longer feels positive emotions after becoming used to hiding her emotions to survive her ordeal.

When the allegations first came to light, the court heard, Towner used abusive language about his victim and said the claims were ‘a load of f****** b******s.’

In mitigation at the sentencing hearing, Towner’s defence barrister Lucy Tapper said that the offences were old and had not been repeated since.

She said: “These are historical matters. There has been no suggestion of repetition and although the defendant has a number of convictions to his name, [there is] nothing of a sexual nature.”

She added that he is now a ‘family man’ whose life has changed since the offences took place and that he is now living away from the area.

Sentencing, Judge Zoe Smith called Towner’s victim a ‘particularly naive, young girl’ at the time of her ordeal and said that the woman’s emotional difficulties had stemmed from the abuse Towner had inflicted on her as a child.

As Towner was jailed for a total of 10 years for the six counts of sexual abuse he raised his head up and let out a sigh before he was led away from the dock.