Sheffield Man Jailed 24 Years After Abusing Child

A 51-year-old man has been jailed for five years more than two decades after he was first arrested for sexually abusing a six-year-old girl.

There were shouts of "pervert'' and "rot in hell'' from the public gallery at Sheffield Crown Court as Neil Beeken was led from the dock.

His victim, who is now 30, complained to her mum in 1991 about what Beeken had done to her over a seven-month period.

Her mother went to the police but she decided she did not want to put her young daughter through a trial and the defendant went free.

The court heard the victim decided to go to the police again when her own daughter was six years old.

Judge Goose said the victim's mother faced a difficult dilemma 24 years ago.

He said:

"Matters were very different in 1991 to how they are today.

"Her mother was worried about putting her six-year-old daughter through the rigours of a criminal trial. Happily these days the processes are far more sympathetic.''

The woman finally decided to go to police when her own daughter turned six and she saw "how young and vulnerable'' she looked and decided "enough was enough.''

A victim personal statement from the woman detailed how she had struggled with relationships all her life because of what Beeken did to her.

Quoting from the statement, he said:

"What Neil Beeken did to me and my family has had a huge impact on me and my life and how I bring up my children. I will never forget that.''

Beeken, of Busk Meadows, Sheffield, denied four counts of indecent assault but was convicted following a trial last month.

He showed no emotion as he stood in the dock wearing a black V-neck jumper over an orange shirt and flanked by a security officer.

As he was led away, one man in the gallery shouted  "rot in hell you sick man'' and also "pervert''.

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