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lunedì 1 maggio 2017
Paedophile jailed after 19-year quest for justice
A paedophile who raped and sexually abused a four-year-old girl, making her promise not to tell anyone "their secret", has been jailed.
Mark Mansell, 43,would sneak into the girl's bedroom at night and would rape her and get her to perform sexual acts while he was staying with her mother at a family friend's house in Mitcham.
Mansell, who was in a relationship with the family friend, committed the sex attacks between July 1 and 16, 1998, but it took nearly two decades for the girl to find justice after police dropped an investigation into him in 2001.
Detective Constable Aaron Vardy, the investigating officer from the Metropolitan Police, paid tribute to the victim and her family for their "bravery and courage".
"They never gave up on their quest for justice," he said. "She showed true bravery as she was forced to re-live some of the darkest moments from her life to ensure Mansell paid for his horrific crimes.
"Mansell is a dangerous sexual predator who abused his position of trust to physically and mentally torture a vulnerable defenceless child.
The court heard Mansell would make the girl promise not to tell "their secret", and told her nobody would believe her if she told them.
He was first found out when, at a wedding with her mum in 1998, the girl said she did not want to go back to the house.
When questioned further, the girl told her mother and grandmother she did not like the way Mansell "tickled her tummy".
This made her mother and grandmother suspect that something more sinister had happened, and the mother and her partner attacked Mansell, police said.
Mansell did not want to press charges over the attack, but in 2001 he was interviewed under caution about sexually abusing the girl.
He denied the attack, and told investigators he was "devastated" to be accused of it. However, the Metropolitan Police said investigators felt they could not pursue the case further due to a lack of evidence.
But in 2013, the victim - now a teenager - reported the matter to police herself, and detectives began new, more extensive enquiries.
Mansell was located and arrested on April 21, 2015 by Hampshire Police after he was found living homeless in Southampton.
In his police interview, he denied ever knowing the victim, and threatened violence against the interviewing police officer. In July last year he was finally charged with carrying out the sex attacks.
After an 11-day trial at Kingston Crown Court, on March 6 this year he was found guilty of rape of a girl under 13, attempted rape, indecent assault on a girl under 14 and gross indecency with a girl under 14.
Detective Constable Aaron Vardy, from the Met's Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command worked closely with the Crown Prosecution Service and Mansell was charged with the above counts on 21 July 2016.
After the sentencing, DC Vardy pleaded for more victims who may have remained silent to come forward.
"I fear that there may be further victims of Mansell still out there suffering in silence. I would urge them to come forward and speak to their local police force.
"They will be treated with respect and their allegations will be investigated in the strictest confidence in a caring and professional manner."