A former family friend who sexually abused a 10-year-old girl in the 1980s has been convicted more than 30 years later.
Eugene Carberry, now 72, was a friend of the victim’s mother and befriended the family at their Canterbury home.
It was then victim came into contact with Carberry, who lived in Herne Bay at the time, and was sexually assaulted by the man on numerous occasions between 1980 and 1983.
During a trial at Canterbury Crown Court, the jury heard the young victim told her mother about the abuse at the time but was told not to lie about such things.
In January 2014, the victim reported the events and Kent Police launched an investigation.
Carberry, who now lives in Blackburn, was arrested and charged with five counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency.
On 24 February, Carberry was convicted by a jury and sentenced by the judge to five years imprisonment. He was put on the Sex Offenders’ Register and given a Sex Offenders Prevention Order for life.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Brigitte Collard of Kent Police, said: ‘The victim showed bravery and a great deal of courage in coming forward to report what must have been a horrendous period of a young girl’s life. I cannot begin to understand how it must have felt to not have been taken seriously by a family member at the time.
‘Carberry is a vile individual who used his friendship with the family to carry out a sickening three-year period of abuse against a vulnerable young girl.
‘While these abhorrent crimes happened more than 30 years ago, this should go to highlight police investigate every historic report of sexual abuse thoroughly, putting victims at the heart of everything we do. Victims should be encouraged we will take all allegations seriously and use all tools available to us to ensure justice is done.’