Girl, 3, Becomes One Of Youngest People In UK To Give Evidence Against Sex Abuser
A three-year-old girl has become one of the youngest people in the UK ever to give evidence at a trial, Manchester Evening News reports.
The girl, who cannot be named, gave evidence at the trial of Thomas Noone, who sexually abused her.
Noone received a three-year prison sentence.
The girl was questioned by barristers for the prosecution and the defence via live video link from a separate room.
Ricky Holland, prosecuting, said her mother overheard the girl describing to another child what Noone had done to her.
She immediately questioned her daughter closely, who was 'emphatic' about what had happened.
Social services and police were alerted.
Noone, 26, was arrested and denied the charge.
During the trial, the court heard that his DNA had been found on the girl's clothes.
Her mother said in a witness statement that the ordeal had been 'devastating' for the family.
Judge Jeffrey Lewis said Noone's actions were a 'betrayal' of the girl's childhood.
"It's clear that you abused her for your own sexual gratification," he said. "You continue to deny any responsibility about this conduct. You have shown no remorse for what you did."
Noone was sentenced to three years' in prison. He will also be subject to a sexual harm prevention order and will be on the sex offenders' register.
After his sentencing, the child's parents said: "We thought it would be around that amount of sentence. We would have been happier with four [years] but that's the way it goes.
"It's been a total nightmare from start to finish especially with her having to go into court to give evidence. You read about it in the papers but don't ever expect it to happen to you.
"We have managed to deal with it and now we are trying to keep everything as normal as possible and be there for her."