May 2022

Man jailed for 12 years over child sex offences

A 41-year-old man has been jailed for 12 years at Northampton Crown Court following a campaign of sexual abuse that left his victim suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Michael Hetherington, formerly of Daventry, was convicted of a total of 17 counts of child sexual abuse, including sexual activity with a child, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and making indecent images of children.

The reign of abuse began in May 2014 and continued for three-and-a-half years until his female victim eventually disclosed it to a safeguarding officer at her school.

The girl, who was only 10 when the abuse started, was later diagnosed with PTSD and experienced frequent panic attacks and episodes of self-harming, the court heard.

His Honour Judge David Herbert sentenced him to 12 years imprisonment of which he will serve at least eight years before being considered for parole.

In addition, Hetherington was placed indefinitely on the Sex Offenders’ Register and was also handed an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.