A 62-year-old man who raped a three-year-old girl at a country park while she was on a family day out has been jailed for nine years.
Graham Medway ‘loitered’ at Fort Victoria Country Park in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, on 31 August and attacked when she got separated from her family for mere minutes.
Medway had previously admitted raping her and Judge Roger Hetherington said the man – who was a stranger to the girl – still posed a “significant risk” to the public.
It has left the girl’s mother “badly on edge” during family walks and both parents fearing for the consequences it will have long-term.
Sentencing at Isle of Wight Crown Court on Friday, the judge said: “I have little doubt that you were loitering in the park area waiting for this sort of opportunity.
“You present a significant risk to members of the public of serious harm by the commission of further specified offences.”
The court heard the girl’s parents had lost sight of her when she ran on a path ahead of them.
They found her about eight minutes later, but in that short time she had been attacked by Medway.
The parents said the attack has changed their daughter.
The girl’s mother said: “We as parents have to live with this forever and are worried about the consequences this will have for our family in the long term.
“When we go out for a family walk I am badly on edge.”
Defending Medway, Elizabeth Bussey-Jones referred to his guilty plea and added: “He knows that nothing he can say or do will undo the harm that he has done and the worry that the family feel they will continue to experience.”
Medway, who lived in Freshwater, a short drive down the road from the park, was given five years of extended licence on top of his nine-year sentence.
He must serve at least two thirds of his term before becoming eligible for parole.
Hampshire Police’s Detective Chief Inspector Liam Davies said: “I am so pleased that we have been able to secure justice for the young girl and her family in this case.
“I want to formally thank them for their brave support as well as the public for their overwhelming response to our appeals. Both have been pivotal in achieving a successful conviction.”
Superintendent Sarah Jackson said stranger assaults against children are rare.
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