A Rugby man who sexually abused and raped a young girl who visited a house where he and his family were living in the late 1990s has been jailed for 17 years.
Hitenkumar Shah had denied four charges of raping the little girl when she was aged about seven and he was in his late teens.
Shah, 32, of Sissinghurst Close, Rugby, also denied indecently assaulting her and two charges of gross indecency.
But last month, at the end of a five-day trial, a jury at Warwick Crown Court found him guilty of all seven charges.
Following an adjournment for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on him, Shah was sentenced this week at Birmingham Crown Court where Judge Peter Carr is now sitting.
Judge Carr said he did not consider Shah needed to be classed as a dangerous offender – which could have led to him facing an indefinite sentence.
Instead, the judge jailed him for 17 years for the rapes.
He imposed concurrent five-year sentences for the offences of indecency with a child and three years for indecent assault and ordered him to register as a sex offender for life.
Shah was also made subject to an indefinite sexual offences prevention order under which, among other conditions, he is banned from having any unsupervised contact with children.
During the trial, prosecutor Andrew Jackson said Shah and his parents had arrived in this country from Kenya in 1998 and rented rooms in a house in Rugby.
The little girl’s family would visit the house to see someone else who also lived there.
On the pretext of playing with her, Shah began a campaign of sexual abuse by taking her into the double bedroom used by his parents and sexually assaulting her.
On another occasion the girl was alone in the lounge when Shah walked in, set next to her and assaulted her
Mr Jackson told the jury: “It was very hard for her to comprehend what was happening until some time later when she received sex education at school.
“She still did not tell anyone, even after she realised she had been the victim of sexual abuse by the defendant, and in fact she felt unable to report any of this until about September 2011.”
She told a friend something had happened to her when she was younger, but did not go into detail.
At the end of the year she confided in her mother that Shah had abused her.
It was not reported at that time, but speaking to friends in February last year ‘seems to have given her the necessary courage or determination to take matters further,’ said Mr Jackson. She went to the police soon afterwards.
Shah claimed to the police and to the jury that he had played games with the girl when she visited the house,.
He had denied sexually assaulting her in any way.