A MAN who carried out a “sickening sexual assault” on a very young girl in York has been jailed for five years.

David Raymond May, 55, who is already a convicted sex offender, had denied indecently assaulting her until the first day of trial at York Crown Court on Wednesday, when he pleaded guilty.

North Yorkshire Police said his victim was aged about six or seven when the assault happened between 1996 and 1998, when he was in his 30s.

“He was known to the girl’s family despite previously saying he had no knowledge of her,” said a spokesperson.

“While they were both visiting a house in York, he groomed the girl by offering her money. He deliberately isolated her in another part of the house where he carried out the indecent assault.

“May tried to cover up his offending by saying to the girl that it was their secret.

“Following many years of anguish, the victim bravely reported the incident to North Yorkshire Police in September 2018.

“A detailed investigation by York CID, led by Detective Constable Alastair Foy, helped to secure justice.”

DC Foy said: “This was a sickening sexual assault on a very young and vulnerable girl which had a massive and lasting impact on every aspect of her life.

“The court heard how she feels that she is ‘damaged goods’ as a result of the abuse she experienced by May.

“She is not damaged goods – she is a strong and resilient woman who has called out his perverted and pernicious behaviour. Through her courage, he has finally received justice.

“Hopefully, May’s conviction will help her move forward.”

He said North Yorkshire Police would investigate all reports of child sexual abuse, and this case demonstrated that convictions could be obtained even when the incident took place decades ago.

The spokesperson said May’s time in prison would be followed by an extended licence period of a further year, and he would not be automatically released after serving half his sentence.

Instead, his case would be referred to the Parole Board, who would decide whether he should be released or not.

“He was made subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order which will restrict his access to children after his release,” they said.

“May will also remain on the sexual offenders’ register. This relates to a six year prison sentence he received at Lincoln Crown Court in May 2005 for indecent assaults on a different seven-year-old girl between 2003 and 2004.”

The spokesperson urged people to call police on 101 if they had been a victim of abuse and were not in immediate danger, or could contact Bridge House, North Yorkshire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), on 0330 223 0362 or email bridgehouse.sarc@nhs.net.