November 2019

Pervert repeatedly raped a girl after a ‘campaign of grooming’ starting when she was just 10 years old

Kenneth Meechan, 40, has been jailed for 17 years for subjecting the youngster to the abuse, which has left his victim suffering from ‘severe’ mental health issues.

The father-of-three, of Blackthorn Road in Didcot, was sentenced today for a catalogue of sex offences against the girl, dating back about 10 years.

Prosecutor Sally Hobson said: “This was a campaign of grooming and abuse.
“He began by making her feel very special and loved.

“He made her feel as though she was his ‘bit on the side’ – his girlfriend or his lover.

“At about the age of 17 it hit her that the abuse was entirely wrong.”

The victim, who is now a young woman, cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Their ‘relationship’ started with a kiss when she was a primary school pupil aged just 10 or 11, and once she turned 15 Meechan took her virginity and began having sexual intercourse with her, the court heard.

Meechan, almost double her age, carried out the abuse over a seven-year period.

Often he would ply her with alcohol to loosen her inhibitions, the court heard.

Judge Maria Lamb said: “You took advantage of this child and used her for your own sexual gratification.

“You have done her the most terrible harm.

“She was groomed by you to the extent that you rewarded her with money and gifts for sexual favours.”

The victim told police she did not reject his advances as she thought she was in love with Meechan and felt ‘addicted’ to him, the court heard.

In August, a jury convicted Meechan of eight counts including sexual assault for the kiss, multiple incidents of vaginal rape, multiple of oral rape and one count of assault by penetration.

He had denied the allegations and still does, the court heard today.

Ms Hobson said: “This has had a huge impact on her life and she had suffered a great deal with her mental health.

“She has suffered severe psychological harm.

“Even now, the defendant denies what he did to her.”

The court heard how he made her out to be a ‘liar and a fantasist’ when she eventually found the courage to speak out and confront him.

Defending, Kuljeet Singh Dobe said his client had no prior convictions and described him as a ‘devoted father’ and a ‘good husband’.

He said Meechan was the main breadwinner in his family before being made redundant from his job at Rowse Honey.

He added: “His family will be devastated by the impact of this conviction. He might deserve it, but they are innocents in this and will suffer the collateral damage.”

Mr Dobe described Meechan as a ‘decent person’ who is ‘unlikely to be a threat upon release’.

Extracts of the victim’s statement read in court said: “He made me feel worthless and isolated from the world.

“He abused my trust and loyalty and played mind games with me.”

She said she has nightmares and flashbacks and struggles to sleep.

Sentencing, Judge Lamb said: “She accepted the way you behaved towards her because she thought them acts of a loving figure.

“This was a gradual process of conditioning of a vulnerable child.”

She passed a sentence of 17 years, up to half of which will be served in custody and the remainder on licence.

Meechan will have to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and will be banned from working with children and vulnerable adults.