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‘Utterly disgraceful’ dad jailed for raping girl after watching her exercising

An "utterly disgraceful" dad-of-one raped a young girl causing "immense" physical harm and leaving her emotionally scarred for life.

Michael Robert Woodfine, 26, molested and raped a child he targeted after watching her doing gym activity and becoming aroused.

The victim and her mum attended Liverpool Crown Court to see the paedophile jailed, but the distressed girl left the courtroom before he was sent down.

Recorder Richard Pratt, QC, said Woodfine, from Huyton, said: "That was utterly disgraceful and disgusting. It led to even worse conduct when you forced her to masturbate you and then progressing as you did to having full penetrative sex with her."

He said the physical harm he caused her at a young age was "immense" and that she was left "terrified" he would rape her again, the Liverpool Echo reports.

Recorder Pratt said: "I have referred to the physical harm she sustained. The emotional harm – astonishing as it may sound – outweighs even that physical harm.

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"She says in a moving victim personal statement that you destroyed her life, you had taken away her childhood and she feels she will never be happy again."

The judge said the victim even spoke of blaming herself, but added: "I emphasise publicly she should feel no sense of blame at all.

"You should carry that sense of blame and shame for the rest of your life for what you did to her."

Woodfine, who is of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to three counts of rape and one count of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

Recorder Pratt told Woodfine the "only consolation" of his "terrible catalogue of offending" was that "unlike many people in your situation, you accepted responsibility immediately and went to hand yourself into the police".

He said: "I'm satisfied that was done not only because you had your own sense of shame about what happened but also because even at this stage you wanted to spare yet further pain to your victim."

The judge added: "Your conduct in handing yourself into the police is in my view and my experience somewhat exceptional. I treat your remorse in this case as a singularly important feature."

Recorder Pratt said Woodfine was an "offender of particular concern" and jailed him for six years, with an extended year on licence.

This means he will spend at least half of the sentence – three years – behind bars before he is eligible to apply for parole.

He will then only be released before the end of the six-year sentence if he is no longer considered to be a risk.

Woodfine must sign on the Sex Offenders Register for life and comply with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order until further order.

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