Paedophile told police his eight-year-old victim “enjoyed it”
A paedophile who committed two acts of "horrendous sexuality" towards a little girl later told police “she enjoyed it,” Sheffield Crown Court has heard.
Nathan Thorpe abused the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, on two occasions more than 20 years ago, said prosecutor Louise Reevell on Friday.
He started feeling her legs before rubbing her private parts over her shorts while he made moaning noises.
She pushed his hand away and struggled as he tried to pull her head towards his groin. Afterwards Thorpe "told her not to tell anyone and it would be their secret."
On another occasion, he put her on his lap while he was aroused.
"She was terrified but felt unable to do anything,” said Ms Reevell. “She found him creepy and intimidating."
Thorpe was interviewed by police in 2018 and told officers he "decided he wanted to pleasure her and make her happy" and that his victim enjoyed it.
"He said he felt sexually attracted to her," and described himself as "sex-starved" and "involuntarily celibate" at the time. Thorpe told officers he had since sent her a message begging for forgiveness.
In a statement, the woman said: "I want you to understand the severity of what you did to me."
She described how the abuse robbed her of "my sanity, dignity and autonomy," and how, as she grew older, she developed severe mental health problems, drug addictions and made attempts on her own life.
"No child should have to experience what you did,” she said. But she added: "I want you to know I am stronger than you. I am a survivor of something that could have killed me."
Phillip Gibbs, mitigating, said he couldn't challenge the victim's experience, but added: "It very much ups the ante of two isolated incidents of sexual contact over 20 years ago."
He said it was never repeated and “there was no other form of criminality.”
Thorpe was diagnosed with severe mental illness and has since been sectioned six times, the court heard.
But he is at “low risk of re-offending sexually,” Mr Gibbs said, and the authors of probation and psychiatric reports recommend that he be supervised in the community.
Mr Gibbs said he was “ill-equipped for custody” and would be at risk of a "full-blown relapse" and suicidal self-harm, if imprisoned.
Thorpe, 43, of Aspley Lane, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault.
Judge David Dixon told him he was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2006 and may have been showing pre-signs of the illness years before.
“On two separate occasions you committed acts of horrendous sexuality towards a child,” he said. “If I lock you up in the relevant segregation wing you will be exposed to others who will lead you astray.”
The judge imposed a two year sentence, suspended for two years, with a two year supervision order and 30 days of rehabilitation. A restraining order, banning Thorpe from all contact with his victim, was made for life.
“If he fails to comply and breaches the order he will go to prison,” the judge added.