NORTH Yorkshire Police’s Online Abuse & Exploitation Team has helped to secure justice against a man who raped and sexually abused a 12-year-old girl.

Matthew Lee Scaife, 36, of Crown Terrace in Scarborough, was sentenced to 20 years in prison at York Crown Court on October 23.

He subjected the victim to months of shocking abuse at two properties in Scarborough and Malton between May and September 2016.

He had previously been found guilty of nine offences, including four counts of rape, two counts of sexual assault, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and two counts of making indecent images of children.

The indecent images of children offences, which consisted of both Category B and Category C material, were uncovered in March 2017.

As well as the long custodial sentence, Scaife also received an extended five year licence on his release from prison, was made subject to a life-long Sexual Harm Prevention Order and placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Judge Simon Hickey told Scaife: “I am certain you knew that she was a vulnerable girl and that is why you targeted her and groomed her.

“You are, in my judgement, dangerous.”

Detective Sergeant Lee Allenby, of Online Abuse & Exploitation Team, praised the work of the investigation team led by Detective Constable Clair Gascoyne.

“First and foremost, it is very pleasing that we have been able to secure justice for the brave victim who has endured significant abuse and trauma at such a young age," he said. 

“We truly hope the outcome at court provides some comfort and gives her strength for the future.

“As for Matthew Scaife, he is clearly a very dangerous and depraved individual who is rightfully in prison for a very long time. Not only that, he will be closely monitored by the authorities for the rest of his life.”

For further support, advice and ways of reporting child abuse, call 101.