A MAN who waged a `campaign of rape' against a girl throughout her entire childhood was today starting a 12-year jail term.
Derek Richardson, 63, of Roundway, Honley, was jailed by a judge who said he had "ruined the life" of his young victim.
Richardson began molesting his victim in 1980 when she was just nine years old.
During the trial at Bradford Crown Court the jury heard how Richardson first raped her in 1982.
He went on to rape her a further five times and commit four indecent assaults. The attacks finally ended in 1988.
As a result of her eight-year ordeal the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, suffered a breakdown at the age of 21, has been sectioned under the mental health act, committed acts of self-harm by slashing her wrists and arms, and has taken overdoses.
Under a new system, she was able to give evidence via a video link during the week-long trial and so avoid coming face to face with her tormentor.
Sentencing Richardson yesterday, Judge Roger Scott told him he had plainly ruined the life of the woman, now in her early 30s.
Placing him on the sex offenders' register for life, Judge Scott said: "This girl has had her life destroyed, her self-confidence has been destroyed and you scared her all the time.
"She has been robbed of a normal life."
Det Con Joanne Garside headed the complex investigations for three years and was praised by the judge for her commitment and hard work which secured Richardson's conviction on crimes dating back more than 20 years.
The judge said: "My view is that the level of support was beyond your paid work.
"It is my view this conviction is very much the result of this police officer's work and support with this complainant and, had there not been that level of support, there would have been no conviction."
Speaking after the case, Det Con Garside urged other abuse victims not to be scared of seeking help.
She had a message for children or adults suffering abuse in silence.
"You can speak out. Don't be frightened. You will be listened to and you will be believed.
"The thing that stops children, young people and adults coming forward is the fear of not being believed and the threats issued by their abusers. Please do speak out."
She added: "Vulnerable adults now have added legal support with the introduction of the Vulnerable Victims Charter which affords victims of abuse special measures at court."
The woman had initially approached police with concerns that a young female relative was being abused.
She then confided in Det Con Garside about her own history.
"The first time I ever met her I thought here's a young lady who has been through an horrific experience in life and is still going through it."
Det Con Garside said: "I now hope she can go on to live a happier, more contented life."