A man who committed sex offences against a six-year-old girl has today been given a suspended sentence.

Jay Neasham, 20, was convicted of sexually assaulting a child following an investigation by Scarborough CID.

The girl told police that Neasham threatened to hurt her if she told anyone what he’d done.

The offences took place several years ago when Neasham was under the age of 18.

He denied everything when detectives interviewed him and pleaded not-guilty when the case reached court, but he was found guilty following a trial.

Neasham, who lives in Whitby, was sentenced to an 18-month suspended sentence by a judge at York Crown Court today for assault of a child by sexual touching.

He was also given a ten-year restraining order to prevent him making contact with the girl.

Detective Constable Rachael Hughes, who led the investigation by Scarborough CID, said: “Throughout the police investigation and his court appearances, Neasham consistently denied what he’d done in an effort to save himself.

“Not only was this cowardly, it also caused even more trauma for the young girl he targeted, whose life has been transformed by his actions.

“However, she has been incredibly brave coming forward and I’d like to thank her for her courage. Without her bravery and her determination to do the right thing, Neasham may never have been put before the courts.

“I’d urge anyone who thinks they may have been the victim of childhood abuse or exploitation to follow her example, so they can receive support and explore the options open to them.”