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Judge praises courage of 14-year-old victim of abuser
A judge has praised the courage of a 14-year-old victim after a man who abused her was sent to jail.
The girl alerted her parents after being touched by Anthony Swinnerton at her home in South Devon.
She woke up to find his hands under her bedclothes and managed to get him out of her room before barricading the door with furniture and calling for help.
The girl, now 16, made a moving victim personal statement which was read at Exeter Crown Court and told of the devastating effect on her life.
She said: “I’m jumpy and on edge and I have had psychological counselling. I’m glad it has all come out. I didn’t want him to get away with it.
“I hope if he goes to prison, it will make him realise that what he has done is wrong and enable me to relax for a while.
“I want to become a lawyer so I can get justice for other kids. I hope that is a way of turning this negative experience into a positive.”
Swinnerton, aged 30, of Queen Street, Newton Abbot, admitted sexual activity with a child and two counts of possessing extreme pornographic images.
He was jailed for two years and eight months by Judge David Evans, who put him on the sex offenders register for ten years and made a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for the same period which bans future contact with under age girls.
Miss Rachel Drake, prosecuting, said the girl was asleep in bed in December 2017 when she awoke to find Swinnerton touching her private parts.
He claimed he had ‘zoned out’ and did not know what he was doing but then resumed the touching, leading the girl to throw him out of the room and barricade the door.
He left the house and later confessed what he did to his mother, who took him straight to the police. The girl and her parents had already reported the abuse and she had given a video taped account.
Swinnerton admitted his guilt at the front desk of Paignton police station but then refused to make any comment during two interviews.
This led the police to carry out lengthy inquiries, during which they also discovered three stills and one movie showing adults having sex with farm animals.