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Man jailed for sexually assaulting a girl in Cornwall

Man jailed for sexually assaulting a girl in Cornwall

Published by Emma Carton at 7:13am 14th August 2019. (Updated at 7:15am 14th August 2019)

A man who sexually assaulted a young girl in Cornwall has been jailed for six and a half years.

William Pope is currently serving a previous sentence at HMP Channings Wood, for a string of indecent and sexual assaults.

The 58-year-old featured in an article listing 67 'prolific sex offenders' back in November 2017.

It was then that the former scaffolder's victim spotted his image and contacted police, sparking a cold-case review.

The girl was attacked in a village near Truro in 2003 when she was just 13-years-old.

After an extensive police investigation and several appeals, the case was filed as undetected until the article on Cornwall Live.

In late 2017, with help from the victim, officers managed to put together a case that left Pope with no other option but to plead guilty.

Victim's Statement

"I feel relieved that finally he will pay for his crime and that he can't hurt anyone else and will remain behind bars. 

"As for the press, I want to say thank you because without that article he would be walking free right now, my attacker wouldn't have a name. 

"To be able to say to myself “this happened to me and this person did it and he's been convicted” is something I never thought I would be able to say. 

"My faith is more than restored in the police, words don't, can't do justice what they have done for me".

Victim's Statement

Police Statement

"The victim had spent 16 years not knowing who subjected her to this horrendous attack. 

"At the time extensive enquiries were undertaken to identify the offender but unfortunately he could not be traced. 

"Following a further report to the police in late 2017, we have worked tirelessly on developing fresh lines of enquiry which resulted in William Pope being identified. 

"Pope was interviewed but denied being the attacker using a false alibi that he had been at work at the time of the incident in 2003. 

"Following further investigation we managed to prove that Pope was lying and had not been at work.

"Shortly after being attacked in 2003, the victim provided a description of her attacker and an E-FIT image was produced.

"The image has a striking resemblance to Pope and matches his description with several prominent facial features. 

"The victim also picked out Pope during a police identification procedure".

DC Joel Brown

william pope 3

"The victim in this case has shown extreme bravery and strength in re-contacting police having struggled for many years. 

"The message is clear; it does not matter how much time passes, we will always explore fresh lines of enquiry and seek to put those responsible before the courts. 

"William Pope had the opportunity to admit his guilt when interviewed but instead he lied and forced investigators to prove his involvement. Through a detailed investigation, this is exactly what happened and he has had little choice but to plead guilty. 

"Pope is a convicted paedophile and will now spend further time behind bars, where he belongs. His offending has had a significant effect on the victim' life and I hope that this sentence will go a small way to give her some closure after all these years".

DC Joel Brown

If you would like to speak to someone about being a victim of historic sexual abuse please contact police and the Devon & Cornwall Police on 101@dc.police.uk or by calling 101.

Alternatively contact the NSPCC 24hr helpline on 0808 800 5000 who can provide independent and confidential advice.

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