A 40-year-old Haverhill man – formerly of Stansted Mountfitchet – who sexually abused a young girl during a ten-year period was jailed for six years today (Monday).
Lee Bass, formerly of Manor Road, Stansted Mountfitchet and now of Lordscroft Lane, Haverhill, was told by Judge David Turner QC at Chelmsford Crown Court: “For reasons which I cannot fully understand, you descended into a sexual relationship with a young girl.”
He also imposed a ten year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders Register for ten years.
Describing the offences, Judge Turner said Bass, who had touched the girl’s breasts to look for “lumps,” had done so for “bogus” reasons.
He went on: “The jury convicted you of a series of 14 offences and all but one were specimen counts. The conduct occurred on a number of occasions. Your conduct was completely covert.”
Commenting on the ordeal of the girl, who was called to give evidence at the trial the judge said she had been accused of “lies, fabrication, fictionalised account.”
He said it was not pleasant for her to be accused of lying and added that her legacy as a result of what had happened had been “sleep disturbances, school underachieving, stress and psychological effects and lack of confidence.”
“Something has gone terribly and horribly wrong,” he said and he told Bass, sat impassively watched by the girl and her parents who were in the public gallery: “You’ve shown no remorse or regret.”
Prosecutor Maria Dineen told the court Bass progressed “stage by stage by stage” before fondling her breasts telling her they needed “checking for lumps.”
Miss Dineen said he began to feel her naked breasts with an “excuse” that they “develop lumps as they get older and needed to be checked.”
Bass denied three offences of sexual assault, one indecency with a child, seven offences of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, two of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one sexual activity with a child.”
A jury containing ten women and two men took three hours to find him guilty unanimously of all 14 offences committed between November 2001 to November 2011.
Bass said during his trial that there was “absolutely no truth at all” in the allegations and had added: “I never acted inappropriately or touched her.”
Investigating officer Dc Stacie Collins, of the Brentwood child abuse investigation team, said: “Bass denied the offences and put the victim through the distressing ordeal of giving evidence in court.
“She has shown great bravery throughout the investigation and trial, and I hope the sentence handed down today will give her some closure.”