A Bedford man faces five years in prison after being found guilty of committing a number of sexual offences against a teenage girl.
Detectives praised the bravery of the victim for coming forward to report the actions of Stuart Tomey, 36, of Rutland Road, Bedford. She told a court that every day of her life is impacted by what she went through.
Tomey was arrested in December 2020 after a number of sexual offences, which took place between April and November of the same year, were disclosed to the police.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual activity with a child and was sentenced on 16 June (Wednesday) to 57 months for each count of sexual activity with a child, which will run concurrently.
He received a further three months for breaching his bail conditions, totalling five years imprisonment.
In her statement, the victim said: “The impact that this has had on me affects me every day.
“I really struggled with accepting that I was a victim and blamed myself for what happened, but as the time has gone on I learned that this was not my fault.”
Detective Constable Rebecca Goodman, from Bedfordshire Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People team, which investigated the offences, said: “Tomey’s selfish and callous offending has resulted in him receiving a lengthy prison sentence.
“Our force takes reports of sexual offences extremely seriously and we are committed to protecting vulnerable people in our county, and especially in cases which involve children.
“This comes after a second court case concluded this month and resulted in a lengthy prison sentence for child sex offences.
“Hopefully this will encourage further victims of such offences to come forward, no matter when it happened. We will believe you and investigate your report, and we will work with our partner agencies to find the right support for you.”
Victims of rape and sexual assault can receive support and guidance from Bedfordshire Police and partner agencies, including the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), as well as support through the criminal investigation process.
Reports of sexual assault, even if non-recent, can be made to the police by calling 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.
You can also contact Bedfordshire’s Sexual SARC the Emerald Centre, by visiting the Emerald Centre, by emailing email@example.com or by calling 01234 842750.
If you have been affected by crime, the Signpost Hub offers free and confidential support to victims in Bedfordshire, whether it has been reported to police or not, and irrespective of where and when the crime occurred.
Contact 0800 0282887 or visit Signpost for Bedfordshire for further information.