A Knaresborough man has been jailed for five years for engaging in sexual activity with a child under the age of 16.
Neil Wood, 51, appeared at York Crown Court on June 3, where he was also given a 15 year Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO), and placed on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.
Speaking about the sentence handed to Wood, investigating officer Detective Constable Rebecca Prentice of Harrogate CID, said: “Neil Wood has caused the victim and their family unimaginable distress and upset. The sentence handed to him reflects the seriousness of the offence he committed against an innocent child. I’m also pleased that the court saw fit to place him on the sex offenders register and impose a sexual harm prevention order on him, reflecting the severity of his offence.
“I would like to take this opportunity to also thank the victim for coming forward and showing incredible bravery throughout both the investigation and trial. I hope the result provides the victim and family with some sense of closure, allowing them to move on to more positive times.
“Finally I hope that this result reassures and provides confidence to anyone who may have been a victim of a sexual offence to come forward and report it to police.
“It doesn’t matter when the abuse happened, whether it’s happening now or occurred decades ago. Even if it is not possible to put an offender before the courts, it’s important that you are offered the support and advice that is available.
“Your information could also help to protect other victims and help the police form a wider picture of offending. Please do not suffer alone – if you have been abused, please report it.”