A former Harborough man who deliberately targeted young girls for his sexual gratification has been jailed for 12 years.
Daniel Painter, 28, formerly of St Mary’s Road, Market Harborough, was sentenced to eight years for one count of rape, and to four more years for four counts of sexual activity with a child.
On release from prison, he will be the subject of a two-year extended licence and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, with strict conditions. His name will also appear of the Sex Offenders Register for the rest of his life.
Detective Superintendent Simon Cure said: “I hope this case demonstrates that anyone who intends to commit such appalling offences against children will not get away with it. We will find them and we will prosecute them.”
Painter was sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on Thursday (June 29) having been found guilty at a trial in May.
The court heard how he had befriended the victims, aged 15 and 16 at the time of the offences in 2015, and lured them back to his home where he carried out his crimes.
Detective Constable Kasie Carter-Moore, a member of the force’s Signal team who investigated Painter, said: “These victims were vulnerable young girls, who were plied with drugs and alcohol and sexually abused on a number of occasions.
“Painter knew these girls were teenagers but that didn’t make any difference to the abuse they suffered at his hands.
“While I’m pleased that Painter was found guilty and justice has been done, the victims will need to live with what happened to them for the rest of their lives. I can only hope that his conviction and prison sentence will help them move on with their lives.
“I want to reassure anyone who may have been a victim of abuse, or who knows someone who has been and for whatever reason doesn’t feel they can come forward, that we have specialist officers who can guide and support them through the various stages of an investigation and enable them to speak to various other support agencies who can help.”
The investigation into Painter also involved Child Sexual Exploitation officers from Leicestershire County Council.
Councillor Ivan Ould, cabinet member for children and families, said: “We’ve supported the vulnerable young people in this case to get to a position where they have felt confident enough to give evidence against the perpetrator.
“We remain committed to tackling child sexual exploitation and I’m pleased that our joint work with the police is helping to secure convictions.”