Convicted child rapist sentenced to more than 17 years
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A man convicted of repeatedly raping and sexually abusing a child has been jailed for a total of 17 and a half years.
Andrew Brian Nicholls, aged 46, was last month found guilty of 14 charges relating to the abuse he carried out between 2014 and 2017, which began when his victim was just 11.
He began sexually assaulting the girl after she walked in on him watching pornography, escalating to repeated rapes, until in early 2017 she bravely reported his abuse to Northamptonshire Police.
Nicholls, formerly of Camp Hill, Bugbrooke, Northampton, was subsequently charged with offences including multiple rapes, sexual activity with a child, and taking indecent photos of a child. On October 4, a jury at Northampton Crown Court returned guilty verdicts on all 14 charges against him.
Today, Tuesday, November 2, His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo handed Nicholls 13 concurrent sentences ranging from three to 14-and-a-half years, plus one consecutive sentence of three years, making a total of 17 and a half years in prison.
Telling the defendant to look at him as he passed sentence, Judge Mayo said Nicholls had robbed his victim of a happy and innocent childhood and forced her to live in fear of him revealing videos he had made of his repeated attacks.
The judge added that even when his victim became withdrawn as a result of her ongoing ordeal, Nicholls knew he was the cause, ‘yet you continued to use her to satisfy your own paedophilic urges’, and had also encouraged others to turn on her when she finally reported what had happened to police.
He concluded: “This was sustained abuse of a particularly vulnerable victim.”
Upon release from prison, Nicholls will spend the remainder of his sentence on licence, and will also be subject to a sexual harm prevention order, indefinitely barring him from living or staying with any female child under the age of 16 without the approval of social services and the child’s parent or guardian having knowledge of his convictions. He will also be on the sex offenders’ register for life.
Following today’s sentencing, investigating officer Detective Constable Chris Waterfall, of the Force’s Child Protection Team, said: “I am thrilled with this sentence, which reflects the severity of the ordeal Nicholls subjected his victim to over many years.
“He abused a position of trust to carry out his crimes, threatening his victim of the consequences if she spoke out, and when she finally took the courageous step to do so, he told lies which led to others targeting her. I hope those who believed his lies are thoroughly ashamed of their actions now the world knows what a vile predator Andrew Nicholls really is.
“My final words are for the victim in this case, who endured a living nightmare yet still found the courage within herself to speak out, first to police officers and then again in court when Nicholls forced her to give evidence.
“Her strength and determination have been rewarded with justice both in the form of the jury’s guilty verdicts and today’s sentencing, and I hope knowing her abuser will spend so long behind bars helps her to move on to the brighter future she so richly deserves with her head held high.”
*This release and custody image have been released with the support and agreement of the victim, who has life-long anonymity as a victim of sexual abuse.*
Northamptonshire Police takes all reports of sexual assault or abuse very seriously, regardless of when it happened. Report via 101, online at www.northants.police.uk/RO or in an emergency, call 999.