A former Lynn man has been jailed for a total of 18 years for raping, sexually assaulting and taking indecent images of a young girl.
Karl Raine, 43, most recently of Warren Avenue, Fakenham, , was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court this afternoon.
Raine, who had previously lived in Lynn, was convicted on one charge of rape, two counts of sexual assault and three allegations of making and taking indecent images of children.
He was also convicted of a further charge of using an imitation firearm to provoke fear or violence.
The sentence follows a two-year investigation by officers from Norfolk Police’s SCOLT (Safeguarding Children Online Team).
Investigating officer, Det Sgt Ngaire Alexander, said: “This is another case which highlights that the internet is not a safe anonymous space for accessing indecent images or grooming and abusing children.
“If you do, you will leave a digital footprint and we will find it.
“We would urge anyone who has been abused or sexually assaulted to come forward, safe in the knowledge that we, together with our partners within child protection, will provide help and support, and do all we can to identify, charge and bring before the courts those responsible.
“I cannot take away from the impact that this abuse had on the victim in this case, but today justice has been served and a predatory and manipulative child sex offender faces the consequences of his actions.”
Raine’s home was initially searched in April 2014 following a tip-off from the National Crime Agency and he was formally charged in April last year.
However, officers returned to his property in January this year following a new referral to the SCOLT unit. As they did so, Raine threatened them with what was subsequently identified an imitation firearm.
In total, Raine received 11 years in prison on the rape charge, five years for one of the sexual assaults and three years, to run concurrently, on the other.
Sentences of two years for taking indecent images and a year for making indecent images, to run concurrently, were also imposed, along with a further year on the firearms charge.
Following the hearing, the NSPCC urged the wider public to be vigilant against the threat posed by abusers.
In a statement, the charity said: “Raine committed malicious crimes against a vulnerable child who was subjected to an horrific ordeal.
“The victim showed tremendous courage in telling the police.
“But, by denying his crimes, Raine put his victim through the torment of a trial and yet more unnecessary suffering.
“We all must be alert to the kind of abuse. Anyone with concerns and victims themselves can call the NSPCC’s helpline on 0808 800 5000. Help and support children can contact ChildLine 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0800 1111 or by visiting www.childline.org.uk.”