A PENSIONER from York who groomed, assaulted and raped a vulnerable child over a 12-month period has been jailed for more than 11 years.

James McLean, 76, made his scared victim feel sick and caused her psychological harm, and he would not listen when she pleaded for him to stop abusing her, York Crown Court was told.

Judge Tom Bayliss QC said McLean, of Marjorie Waite Court, Evelyn Crescent, Clifton, raped her about 12 to 15 times over 12 months, at a time when she was particularly vulnerable because she was nine and ten years old.

The other, sustained assaults happened over the same period. He said McLean had groomed the child, adding: “He offered her money. He offered her cannabis. He offered her cigarettes. He offered her alcohol and he gave her treats.”

The court was told that McLean took his victim on outings to places such as The Deep at Hull.

Laura Addy, prosecuting, said McLean’s victim had said that on some occasions, she had woken up to find McLean assaulting her. “She said it felt horrible and told him to get off. She tried to get him off but he never listened,” she said.

In mitigation, McLean’s barrister Emma Bennett referred to McLean’s guilty pleas and age but said she did not dispute the facts of the case and accepted a substantial custodial sentence would be imposed.

The judge said McLean had had no relevant previous convictions until he was in his 70s but, three years ago, he had been given a community order for sexual assaults on two other children aged under 13.

However, at that time the sentencing judge had not known about the matters for which he was now in court, which happened at the same time as or pre-dated the other offences.

Jailing McLean for a total of eleven-and-a-half years, he said he took account in his sentencing of the defendant’s age, and of the fact he had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two specimen charges of raping a child under 13, four of sexually assaulting her and one of causing or inciting her to engage in sexual activity.

• The Press reported in 2011 how McLean had lured his other two victims to his flat with the promise of cigarettes in exchange for sexual favours, and one of the girls had later become severely depressed. After he was arrested, he wrote to the girls and their parents asking to be forgiven for his “lapse of ethics.”