A dad has been jailed for seven years after he repeatedly had sex with his daughter and threatened her with violence if she told police.
The man, who privately referred to the 14-year-old as his ‘girlfriend’ during three years of abuse, also gave her vodka, cannabis and amphetamine.
The victim had no contact with the defendant – her biological father – until she was in her early teens. She later went to live with him in Leicestershire and the abuse began.
The man, who is not being named in order to protect the victim’s identity, was convicted by a jury at Leicester Crown Court of a series of offences upon the teenager.
But his defence lawyer insisted that it was the girl who had instigated their sexual relationship.
The defendant was found guilty of six counts of sexual activity with a child and two offences of sexual activity with a child family member, between 2006 and 2008.
He was also convicted of one count of perverting the course of justice by persuading the victim to withdraw her complaint against him, in March 2010.
The man denied all the offences, and, part way through his trial, absconded after giving evidence-in-chief. The trial continued in his absence.
The defendant, who is now 49, began abusing his daughter when he was 38, when there was a 24-year age gap between them.
Judge Marcus Tregilgas-Davey said the sexual relationship continued until the victim was 17.
Sentencing the father, Judge Tregilgas-Davey said: ‘You failed utterly and completely to impose appropriate boundaries with a child of that age.
‘You gave her alcohol, took her to the pub and on one occasion got her drunk on vodka. You supplied her with illicit drugs, cannabis and amphetamine.
‘She was introduced to you at 14, when for most of her life she was told you were dead, and you took advantage of that situation.
‘In private, you called her your girlfriend, and you told her not to tell others about the nature of your relationship.
‘It came to an end in 2009 and she then went to the police and made a video (statement) detailing your sexual abuse of her.
‘When you found out about that you threatened her with violence by your brothers, her uncles, unless she withdrew the allegations.
‘She was scared and consequently complied and told the police her statement wasn’t true, and she was questioned about perverting the course of justice.
‘The evidence was that you drove her to the police interview and told her what to say, providing an oral script
‘Mercifully she wasn’t prosecuted, because the police who interviewed her rightly believed she had been pressured into withdrawing true allegations.’
The judge said the victim had been on medication for depression for several years.
The convicted man’s details will be held on the sex offenders register indefinitely.