THE victim of a paedophile who subjected her to 'heinous' sex crimes has been commended for her bravery.

Police have spoken out after rapist Kenneth Meechan, of Blackthorn Road in Didcot, was sentenced to 17 years in jail last week for his 'abhorrent' campaign of abuse.

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A jury found the 40-year-old guilty of a series of sex offences against the girl, which he denied, and Oxford Crown Court heard how would ply her with alcohol and reward her with money and gifts for sexual favours.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Helen Burns, of the Child Abuse Investigation Unit based at Cowley, said: "The victim has shown great bravery in coming forward to report the catalogue of sexual abuse she endured.

"The abuse, and subsequent trial, has had a huge impact on the victim, but the resilience and strength of character she has shown is a real credit to her.

"I would always urge any victims of such heinous crimes to come forward and report these to police."

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At his sentencing on Thursday, the court heard how he kissed his victim when she was just 10-years-old and started having sex with her while she was still underage, at about 15-years-old.

DC Burns branded the crimes 'abhorrent', adding: "As a force we remain committed to investigating these cases thoroughly, bringing sexual predators to justice, and support victims and witnesses."

Meechan was found guilty by a unanimous verdict in August, of sexual assault of a child under 13, sexual assault by penetration of a child under 13, vaginal rape, oral rape and causing a person to engage in sexual activity. 

The offences occurred between the 2000s and 2010s, and he was arrested in June 2017 after the victim came forward.

At his sentencing, the court heard how his abuse had left her with severe mental health problems.