Febuary 2005

Babysitter jailed for sex attacks

A babysitter who sexually abused a four-year-old girl has been jailed for eight years.

David Spangle told the child not to tell her parents what he was doing to her during the repeated attacks.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, kept the secret until she was 15 and the police were alerted.

After his arrest, Spangle blamed the girl for indecently assaulting him.

The brave teenager, her childhood ruined by her harrowing ordeal, was at Lewes Crown Court to see Spangle put behind bars.

Her parents, who live in Brighton, left the court as the girl’s trauma was revealed in a statement describing how the abuse haunted her childhood.

She would force herself to keep her eyes closed and think of something else while Spangle was abusing her at her home on the outskirts of the city.

She would plan which outfit she would dress her Barbie doll in when the abuse was over.

As she grew older she became disturbed by what had happened. She started taking heroin and cocaine and made several attempts to kill herself.

She said: “It is fair to say he has ruined parts of my life.”

Spangle, 45, who changed his name from Spalding, admitted six specimen offences of sexually assaulting the girl when she was between four and six.

Judge Simon Coltart described the abuse as despicable and disgusting.

Spangle, of Hornbeam Road, Reigate, was placed on the sex offenders register for life and banned from ever working with children.