Child sex offender who abused Gravesend girl jailed
PUBLISHED: 11:29 30 October 2015 | UPDATED: 11:29 30 October 2015
He will spend a minimum of six years in prison
A Gravesend girl has been commended by police for her “tremendous courage” in reporting abuse she suffered from a man in his fifties.
Leonard Whatmore 58, formerly of Billericay, Essex touched the girl inappropriately on two separate occasions between July and October 2013.
Whatmore also asked the girl to sleep in his bed and help assist him in the bath, though she refused.
Whatmore was arrested in August 2014 after the girl told her mother what had happened.
He was later charged with two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and two of assault by sexual touching.
After denying the offences Whatmore was found guilty at Maidstone Crown Court on September 4.
He was sentenced yesterday (Thursday October 29) to a minimum of six years in prison, which could be extended to nine following a parole board hearing.
He must sign the sex offenders register for life.
Investigating officer detective constable Zoe Traynor said: “There is no excuse for what Leonard Whatmore put his victim through and I am glad he will now serve a minimum of six years behind bars, where he can cause no further harm to children.
“The victim in this case displayed tremendous courage in not only disclosing what had happened to her, but also in giving evidence to the court and reliving the terrible crimes committed against her. I am so proud of her, as I know her family are too.
“Kent Police takes all reports of child sex offences very seriously and victims can rest assured we will investigate such incidents thoroughly to ensure those responsible are brought to justice.”