A Wiltshire man has been jailed after he was found guilty of multiple counts of indecent assault on a child.

Richard Webb, of Unity House in Chippenham, was found guilty of six counts of indecent assault on a child during a four-day trial at Winchester Crown Court.

The 65-year-old has now been sentenced to eight years behind bars for the offences, which were described by an investigating officer as “abhorrent.”

It was heard that over a six-year period, from 1996, Webb repeatedly abused his young victim, whose identity is protected by law.

In an impact statement provided to the court, the victim revealed the long-term effects of the abuse she suffered.

She said: “I feel as though those years are lost to me. It feels like I have disassociated myself from most of my childhood.

“He ruined my life.

“I don’t think I will ever get over what he did to me. I will forever be trying to deal with the abuse I suffered.”

Wiltshire Times: Richard WebbRichard Webb (Image: Wiltshire Police)

Det Con Lauren Barnard praised the bravery of Webb’s victim for coming forward and reporting the abuse she suffered.

She said: “It is clear from the impact statement from the victim just how much she has suffered and continues to suffer to this day as a result of the abuse inflicted upon her by Webb.

“His actions have deprived someone of a happy childhood, purely for his own sexual gratification. His actions are abhorrent, and I am pleased he will now serve a custodial sentence for his behaviour.

“I would like to take this opportunity to praise the victim for bravely reporting her ordeal to the police – this was the first time she had ever spoken to anybody about exactly what she had been through.

“Without her bravery, we would not have been able to put Webb before the courts for justice to be served.”

Police have urged any victims of sexual abuse to report it to them, no matter how much time has passed.

They can do this by calling 101 and will be supported by specialist officers.