A man convicted of sexually abusing a young girl has been jailed for two and a half years.
John Lett, 64, of Arran Square, Mansfield, appeared at Nottingham Crown Court on May 12 for sentencing after a judge found him guilty of a child sex offence.
Recorder Stuart Sprawson jailed him for two and a half years after he was found guilty of sexually abusing a young girl.
He was also found not-guilty of two other counts of sexually touching her on other occasions.
Lett denied all three allegations, related to when the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was aged between five and eight on dates between January 2011 and October 2013.
His five-day trial in late February heard that the alleged offences happened when Lett was looking after the girl at her Mansfield home during school holidays while her father was away.
This was a favour to the dad, with whom he had become “quite good friends” after the dad had split up with his wife (the girl’s mother) and she had moved out. Lett used to visit the home for cups of tea and to help with DIY jobs around the house.
The jury watched a video interview with the girl, conducted by police officers. She said she was assaulted virtually every time she was left alone with Lett, who warned her not to tell anyone. She said he told her to pull down her trousers and pants and then he committed an obscene act.
“It definitely happened,” the girl told barristers on the live video-link to the court. “I am not lying.”
The abuse did not come to light, the court heard, until two years later in September 2015 when her mother moved back into the family home and discovered Lett had disappeared two years previously because he was serving a jail term for sexually assaulting a girl and possessing indecent images of children.
When Lett was arrested, he denied he had any sexual interest in children, nor that he was ever left alone in the house with the girl.
He said the girl was “affectionate” towards him and ran up to him for a hug every time he visited. He also popped her on his knee to help her with her reading, and said the idea that he sexually touched her was “disgusting”.
As well as two and a half years in prison, Lett was added to the children's barring list, preventing him from working with minors, and received a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, which will limit his activities, such as work, when his sentence is served.