A 50-year-old HIV-positive prison officer who had unlawful carnal knowledge of a child knowing he had the incurable virus has been jailed for 22 years.
Martin Richards molested the schoolgirl and made her wait agonisingly to find out if she had contracted the disease.
Richards was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court in Monday, November 6.
The victim’s mum said: ‘We are devastated for her and what she’s been through. We can only hope she can start to heal and start to trust again. He has stolen so much of her childhood.’
‘He is a dangerous paedophile who has no place in society. From today we hope to move forward with the knowledge he will be in prison for a very long time,’ she went on.
‘Until we could be sure she didn’t have HIV she had to take several tablets. She would get so distressed when taking then she would be sick.
‘I’ve struggled to come to terms with what happened. Her confidence is drained and she’s particularly nervous around unknown males.’
Richards admitted three charges of s3xual assault on a child under the age of 13, causing a child to watch a s3xual act and perverting the course of justice in relation to letters he sent to the victim’s family trying to get the charges dropped.
He was convicted by a jury of offences of r*pe, s3xual assault and causing or inciting a child to engage in s3xual activity.
Judge Gavin Doig said the attack was ‘sickening’: ‘A particularly shocking element of this case was that the defendant was HIV positive at the time of his offending and he knew he was.
‘This was sickening behaviour on the part of the defendant. It is of great good fortune in fact it was not passed to her.
‘However, Mr Richards took the risk it might have been. This is a serious aggravating factor.’
On top of his 22 year jail sentence, Richards, of Choppington, Northumberland, must join the s3x offenders register and abide by a s3xual harm prevention order for life.