Six-year jail term for child abuser

A man who sexually abused a nine-year-old girl at a home near Sudbury has been jailed.

Peter Leggett appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday having been found guilty at his trial in December of seven offences of sexual assault on a child under 13.

Jailing him for a total of six years, Judge John Devaux said the offences had not only been serious, but represented a breach of trust between an adult and a child.

During the four-day trial, the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said in a recorded interview shown to the jury that Leggett had told her: “I love you.”

On at least three occasions, Leggett had pulled up her T-shirt and licked her chest. He had also indecently touched her after putting his hand down her trousers as she sat on his lap, she said.

Giving evidence, the girl said she had felt unable to do anything to stop Leggett.

The 44-year-old was arrested after the girl confided in her mother that he had touched her on the chest and between her legs.

The offences were committed while Leggett was visiting a house in the Sudbury area between January 31 and April 28 last year. He pleaded not guilty to all seven charges.

Leggett, of Winifred Way, Caister-on-Sea, told the court that the girl said she fancied him and had said he was “hot” before rubbing her body against his and kissing him on the lips.

He denied all the allegations against him and said he had told the girl to stop what she was doing because it could get him in “a lot of trouble”.

Leggett, a cleaner, said that he lived with his parents because he needed help with reading and writing.