A south Staffordshire man has been sentenced to 11 years in jail for sexually assaulting a young girl.

David Felton, aged 65, of Edge View Walk, Kinver, was jailed today at Stafford Crown Court for sexually assaulting the 11-year-old girl in south Staffordshire between May 2016 and May 2017.

Judge John Wait, sentencing, said: “These were repeated offences against a child who was particularly vulnerable. There are elements of grooming aggravated by you threatening her to keep silent.”

He described Felton’s actions as ‘an appalling breach of trust’ and sentenced him to 11 years, with a further year on licence. He will be added to the sex offenders’ register for life.

Felton was found guilty of three counts of assault by penetration of a child under 13, following the three-day trial.

Stafford Crown Court heard that early in May 2017 Felton’s victim had become upset and complained of sickness and a headache.

She told one of her relatives that a man had assaulted her. Following this she became hysterical, and the witness, said: ‘shaking, in floods of tears and clinging to me.’

The girl said the man would kill her if she told anyone.

Police were contacted and the girl was interviewed by the Force’s Safeguarding and Investigations team. She told officers that the man had touched her and that she would shout stop, but he would not say anything.

Felton was arrested the same day and denied any offences. In a further interview the girl said the assaults had taken place three or four times and had begun when she was 11.

Detective Constable Samantha Young, of Staffordshire Police, said: “It is the bravery of the witness in coming forward and giving her evidence which has led to Felton’s imprisonment.

“This was a despicable offence committed against a young, vulnerable girl. We will always do whatever it takes to bring offenders to justice, while ensuring victims and their families are offered the support they need.”

Anyone who has suffered sexual abuse, or suspects others may be subject to sexual abuse, is urged to contact Staffordshire Police on 101.