March 11 2014 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Senior reporter
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
A mother has spoken of her relief at seeing the sick paedophile who preyed on her daughters behind bars.
Trevor McKnight, 48, of Hampton Road, Ilford, was jailed for nine years at Basildon Crown Court on Thursday and will be on the sex offenders register for life.
He sexually assaulted a girl under 13 on several occasions and incited a teenager under 16 – the age of consent - to engage in sexual activity.
McKnight was also found guilty of five counts of sexual assault by penetration and two more of sexual assault.
The mother of his victims, who cannot be named to protect their identity, said: “He made our lives hell for years so we’re relieved he’s finally in jail.
“We’re glad to see it all behind us – we just hope it hasn’t happened to any other families.”
McKnight denied all 14 offences but was found guilty by a jury at the end of a court case lasting over a year.
His victims’ mother said the experience of giving evidence for the trial was traumatic for her children.
She added: “My daughters have been called liars and their lives have been made a misery in the case.”
The way lawyers and judges treat alleged sex abuse victims came under fire last year after a barrister called a 13-year-old girl “predatory” while defending her rapist in court.
Campaigners believe the fear of being cross-examined and having to re-live their terrible experiences stops victims coming forward to report sex crimes.
Gants Hill became the focus of a Twitter frenzy over the weekend after One Direction singer Zayn Malik was spotted at nightclub Faces.