A Portslade man has been sentenced to 22 years in jail for a series of rapes on a young girl known to him.

Brian Sillence, of Shelldale Avenue Portslade, subjected the younster to a number of sexual assaults over a period of years from the late 1990s through to 2007 when she was by then in her late teens.

The 55-year-old was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on today having been convicted the previous day after a seven-day trial.

He will also be a registered sex offender for life.

He had been convicted of six counts of indecent assault, five counts of rape and two counts of sexual assault. The victim was abused from the age of nine and this continued until she was 19.

He sentenced for the rape offences, and the judge directed that there would be no separate penalties for the other offences.

In sentencing Sillence, Judge David Rennie said; "You saw her as a mere object, with which you could pleasure yourself sexually.....your final cynical act of betrayal was to force her to re-live your vile acts, by putting her through the ordeal of a trial. What a monstrously unkind thing to do, but wholly in character."

Detective Constable Rex Petty of the Brighton Safeguarding Investigations Unit said; "Reports about Sillence's behaviour towards the victim were first made, anf fully investigated, in 2001 and again in 2004, but at that stage the victim was not prepared to support any prosecution and it was not until 2012 that the she felt able to come forward and do so.

"A careful and thorough investigation followed to uncover the whole truth of what had happened, and Sillence denied everything all the way through.

"The victim continued to support the prosecution throughout the investigation and with her evidence the case against Sillence was finally proved.

"We will always take such allegations seriously and will recommend prosecution wherever possible to seek to achieve justice for victims of such dreadful crimes."