Twelve years jail for builder guilty of 15 child sex offences

Thursday, 2.30pm: A SELF-employed builder who systematically and sexually abused a young girl leaving her contemplating suicide was today, Thursday, jailed for 12 years at Lincoln Crown Court.

Michael Slawson - a recent Osgodby Parish Councillor and former village school governor - was previously found guilty of 15 charges in total and sentencing was adjourned until today.

He was also placed on the sex offenders' register for life and banned from working with children.

He started abusing the girl, then just nine years old, on the day he returned from a honeymoon in the West Indies with his new wife, the court was told.

Judge Robert Alan Brown said Slawson "ruthlessly" took advantage of the girl for over two years.

The Judge told Slawson "You groomed her, you corrupted her and you abused her. The consequences to her have been devastating.

"It was sustained, deliberate, pre-planned and calculated. It was all to satisfy your own perverted sexual desires."

Slawson, 57, of Low Road, Osgodby, near Market Rasen was found guilty by a jury of eight charges of rape, six of indecent assault and one of indecency with a child over a two and a half year period in the mid 1990s.

Felicity Gerry, prosecuting, said the girl was repeatedly abused between the ages of nine and 11.

She said the victim delayed complaining to the authorities for several years because she was so badly affected she did not think she would be able to deal with the consequences.

Miss Gerry said the girl has since suffered badly from depression and has self-harmed.

She has also suffered from the eating disorder anorexia.

"She frequently feels suicidal. Although it is now ten years since the abuse stopped she does not feel she is anywhere near over what happened to her, " Miss Gerry said,

"This has caused her a huge amount of emotional pain not only to herself but also to her family."

Throughout his trial Slawson denied he committed any offence against the girl.

Craig Lowe, defending, said Slawson had no previous convictions and was "of positive good character".

"He had a building firm built up over quarter of a century. That has now folded.

"He has lost everything but his wife is standing by him."

Afterwards Maxine Laws, of Lincolnshire Police public protection unit based at Gainsborough Police Station, said "This man systematically abused his victim in a most horrendous way.

"In doing so he robbed this child of what should have been some of the most precious years of her life.

"Lincolnshire Police pay tribute to the victim's considerable personal courage both in reporting these offences and helping bring Slawson to justice."

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