A paedophile from Axminster has been jailed for sexually assaulting a child.
Robert Grimshaw touched the three-year-old under her clothing and then lied about his crime.
The 29-year-old was convicted after a trial at Exeter Crown Court in February. The trial was told the offences came to light when the upset child told her parents what had happened.
Grimshaw, of Foxhill, returned to court on Friday [March 18] and was jailed for four years.
The judge said he had been convicted due to overwhelming evidence against him and the account he gave to the jury to avoid responsibility had been ‘paper thin’.
The mother of victim read an emotional statement in court outlining the continuing impact on her child who still suffers nightmares about what happened and fears that it might happen again.
Grimshaw was convicted of two charges of sexually assaulting a child under 13.
Judge David Evans said: “You were 27 at the time you committed these offences. It may be you have given some people a false impression that it was her parents who made these allegations against you. That is a emphatically and wholly false thing for anyone to say.
“The person who revealed what happened was the victim herself. You clearly hoped that being the age she was she wouldn’t reveal what she had done to her. She does know what you did to her was wrong.”
The jury was told there was DNA evidence linking Grimshaw to the crime.
Judge Evans said: “In your effort to avoid conviction you put forward a paper thin explanation but couldn’t cater for the fact it was not just the victim’s compelling evidence that proved what you had done but also blunt scientific proof.”
He added: “You have made no admission and shown no remorse.” He said there was little evidence he was very drunk at the time.
Grimshaw must serve half of his sentence in prison and the rest on licence.
He was made subject to a Sexual harm Prevention Order banning unsupervised contact with children under 16.