77-year-old man jailed for sexually abusing a young girl over three years
A 77-year-old man has been jailed for sexually abusing a young girl over three years.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Anthony Leonard, from Tranmere on Merseyside, abused the girl from the ages of four to seven from 1986 to 1990.
In 2019 the victim found the courage to tell the police about what had happened to her.
Leonard was arrested and charged with a total of 25 counts of indecent assault.
He pleaded guilty to nine of the offences, but denied the rest.
However, a jury at Liverpool Crown Court found him guilty on all counts and, on 13 September 2022, he was sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment.
In a Victim Personal Statement, the victim said: “It feels like he almost primed me from an age where I didn't know any different from this and what a normal life should be. The ripple effects of (his) actions affected me then and still haunt me now. The impact of all of the above, there are no words for. He stole my innocence and had a massive part in creating a little being that was fearful of telling the truth or asking for help. He turned me into a lonely empty shell emotionally for so many years, which still affects me to this day.”
Senior Crown Prosecutor Sarah Egan, a specialist lawyer in CPS Mersey Cheshire’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) unit said: ‘Anthony Leonard repeatedly sexually abused this victim when she was a very young child. The comments he made during the criminal proceedings about how much he enjoyed himself during the sexual abuse are truly sickening. He has spent over thirty years living a lie and maintaining an image of a respectable life, whilst the victim has had to endure, and deal with, the consequences of the sexual abuse she has suffered. There is absolutely no doubt that Leonard’s actions have caused this victim grave harm. He has shown no remorse at all for what he has done.
"The Crown Prosecution Service would like to thank the victim and her family, for the courage and strength they have shown throughout the proceedings, as well as the parties involved who have helped us to bring a successful prosecution. We hope that this allows the victim to move forwards with her life’.