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Man jailed for schoolgirl rape

A man from Whitehaven man has been jailed for 14 years after being found guilty of five counts of rape and two indecent assaults on a schoolgirl.

David Townsley, 42, of Nursery Place, was arrested and initially denied the charges, but was later found guilty at Carlisle Crown Court.

In June 2011 the victim, who is now an adult, reported over two years of sexual abuse to the police.

She said it began when she was 12 years old.

"The victim in this case was subject to sexual abuse by Townsley over a two year period. She was only 12-years-old when the abuse began. The sentence handed down today reflects the horror of these offences and, quite rightly, the judge sees prison as the only place for him.

“The victim in this case has shown great courage in coming forward and I hope that she can now move on and try to rebuild her life.

" I also hope that other victims of sexual abuse can take strength from this woman and have the confidence to contact the police themselves no matter how long ago the abuse occurred."

– DC Andrea Davidson, Public Protection Unit, Workington

Cumbria Police are asking victims of sexual abuse, who would like to speak to a specially trained officer, to contact them on 101.