'Remorseless' man who sexually abused girl is jailed for eight years
A man who repeatedly abused a young girl has been has been jailed for eight years after a jury saw through his 'disgraceful defence'.
Edric Hogarth, 54, known as Eddie, molested the youngster over a couple of years, when she was six or seven, as he was helping out her mum by babysitting.
Hogarth denied the allegations, claiming it was all a fabrication, but a jury at Swindon Crown Court and found him guilty.
And a judge slammed him for telling a jury the victim's mum had a grudge against him and put her daughter up to lying about the abuse.
Hogarth, of Eastleigh Road, Devizes, had pleaded not guilty to two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one of sexual assault of a child.
But following a week long trial the panel of seven men and five women found him guilty by a majority on all the charges.
The father-of-five carried out the abuse on the girl when he was living in the village of Redstocks, near Melksham.
The first count related to an incident in September 2012 which led to the child telling her mum what had been going on.
Hannah Squire, prosecuting, said the other two were 'multi-incident counts' representing a course of conduct where he did the same thing more than once.
She told the jury the child could not be sure about how long the abuse had been going on.
Hogarth was working 6pm to 6am night shifts as a baker at the time he was molesting the child.
Marcus Davey, defending, said his client had lost everything as a result of the convictions after his wife, with whom he has three children, left him.
"He has brought it on himself but he has lost a lot. His home, his family, his contact with his three children. He loves them dearly and that will hit him hard," he said.
Jailing him, on Friday, Judge Tim Mousley QC said: "You were convicted by a jury of three counts of deplorable sexual contact towards the young girl.
"It went on for two years, she was very young. The age it would seem was somewhere between six and seven years old.
"It only stopped when her mother found out about what was going on. You were trusted to look after her.
"Rather than look after her in the way you were trusted to you did exactly the opposite.
"Before the jury you blamed her mother for these proceedings. You advanced that she had put her daughter up for making false allegations.
"In my view that was a disgraceful defence to put before a jury. The girl had to give evidence. She and her mother are plainly vulnerable people.
"None of these factors add to the sentence I pass on you but it means there will be no credit for pleading guilty.
"I am left in no doubt that you caused significant emotional harm to the victim.
"The pre-sentence report indicates you present a serious risk of sexual harm to children at the moment.
"Your conduct was manipulative, controlling, and there is a danger you will seek to endanger other young children in the future.
"You still deny it and you showed not one ounce of remorse."
As well as jailing him for eight years he impose a sexual offences prevention order restricting his liberty for life.