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Paedophile jailed for historic abuse in Brighton
A woman who was sexually abused from the age of three has spoken of her relief after her attacker was jailed for 15 years.
The 31-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, only reported the abuse to Sussex Police two years ago when she spotted Leslie Raymond Sommerford walking down the street with two young girls.
Sommerford, from Brighton, was found guilty of raping a woman, now aged 20, when she was 15.
He was also found guilty of 11 counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency against a woman who was between three and 16 years old when she was abused, but is now 31.
She said: “It was horrible. I was abused from the age of three until I was 16. Sometimes it was every other day, sometimes it was less frequent.
“For a long time I thought it was normal because I was so young and it happened so regularly.
“It wasn’t until I got older I realised it wasn’t normal.
“But I carried on because I was so scared if I stopped he would hurt somebody else.
“It made me feel sick.”
She said reliving the ordeal over the past two years, when she first went to the police, was like having a knife put through her heart.
But she said: “He’s got what he deserved.
“I saw him walk down the street with two little girls, who were the same age I was when I was abused.
“Now people know about him and hopefully no one will ever trust him near their children again.
“I didn’t do it for any other reason.”
Sex offender register
Sommerfield was convicted on February 1 at Lewes Crown Court for the offences, which all happened in Brighton.
He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with a requirement to register as a sex offender for life on his discharge.
Detective Constable Nikki Stevens of the Brighton and Hove Child Protection Team, said: “Both victims were extremely brave whilst giving their evidence and we are very pleased that they now finally have a chance to put these terrible matters behind them and move on with their lives.
“We will always follow up allegations of historic abuse, no matter how long ago they are said to have occurred.
“People reporting can talk in confidence to experienced detectives at any time by calling 101.
“We can also help them get access to a range of other support services.”
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