A CHILTON Polden man has been jailed for historic sexual activity with a child.

David Pearce, 64, was found guilty to two counts relating to sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl.

He was jailed at Taunton Crown Court for five years on one charge and eight years on the other, with the sentences to run concurrently.

During the trial, the court heard how in the early 2000s, Pearce groomed his victim via text messages and sent her gifts over many weeks before sexually abusing her.

The victim, who was threatened by Pearce and told to keep the abuse a secret, contacted police in 2019 and an investigation was launched.

Investigating officer DC Harvey Ahern said: “I hope this conviction serves to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to seeking justice for victims of rape and sexual assault, no matter how long ago the incident took place.

“Every report we receive will always be investigated thoroughly.

“I wish to thank the victim and witnesses who came forward to support the investigation for their bravery and for their trust in our service.”

If you have been a victim of sexual assault, whether recent or non-recent, you can report it to Avon and Somerset Police on 101 where you will be supported by a team of dedicated investigators.

Alternatively, you can self refer to The Bridge, a Sexual Assault Referral Centre available 24/7 365 days a year. Visit their website at thebridgecanhelp.org.uk or call 0117 342 6999.