David Tilley – Tiverton/Westbury
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Vile paedophile jailed for 14 years for sex attacks on girl
A 67-year-old man has been told he could spend the rest of his life in prison after being jailed for raping and sexually assaulting a girl in Tiverton 20 years ago.
David Tilley’s victim was so traumatised by his sick behaviour that she kept it a secret for years. But eventually the psychological burden became too great and her evidence led to the conviction of the pensioner.
Tilley denied eight serious sexual offences against the girl, including rape and indecent assault, but was found guilty by a jury this week at Exeter Crown Court.
He returned to court on Friday to be sentenced and was jailed for 14 years.
Tilley groomed the victim from the age of five, when she was living in Tiverton, and committed countless sexual assaults over the next decade.
The girl was so distressed by the assaults that on one occasion she jumped out of a ground floor window to escape him.
On one occasion when she was aged about 11 or 12 he had sex with her and bribed her with £5 to buy her silence.
The judge praised the courage of the victim who was forced to re-live her experiences in the witness box due to Tilley’s not guilty pleas.
Judge Erik Salomonsen said: “You are 67 years old and come before the court following your conviction on a unanimous verdict of the jury for eight counts of sexual offending against your victim.
“You used the victim for your own sexual gratification.”
The victim was aged just five when some of the abuse happened.
The court was told Tilley, who now lives in Westbury in Wiltshire, had contributed little to society over the years and had spent a lifetime on benefits.
The judge said the victim made no complaint to anybody at the time and ‘blacked it out’ until she was no longer able to and reported it to police in 2015.
In a statement she said: “What happened to me as a child has messed my whole life up.”
The victim felt so low at times that she no longer wanted to be alive.
“You conduct has had a massive effect on her relationships,” said the judge.
“Her words show the dramatic and devastating effect such conduct has on children subjected to abuse and how they grow into adulthood.”