A Horsham man has been given a 24 year sentence for the systematic abuse of a young girl, which the sentencing judge has called the ‘worst case of single sex abuse’ he has ever had to sit through.
Richard Koch, 41, a handyman of Canberra Place, was previously found guilty of 23 offences, including rape, sexual assault, assault and incitement to engage in sexual activity.
The victim was 13 when she was subjected to an eight year series of sexual offences and physical abuse, which started in the 2000s.
The jury heard how this included hitting her with paddles, tying her up and half-strangling her.
In sentencing Koch, Judge Paul Tain said:
“This is the worst case of single sex abuse I have ever had to sit through.”
Of his 24 year sentence, Koch will serve 19 years in prison and then spend five years on licence.
He will not be eligible for parole until he has served 16 years.
As part of his sentence, Koch also pleaded guilty to three offences of possession of indecent images of children, none of which were of the victim.
He was found not guilty of one sexual assault on the victim.
Detective constable Dan Richardson of West Sussex Investigations said:
“Koch met this girl when she was just 13, seduced her and dominated her life for eight years.
“He regularly subjected her to sexual assault including rape, sustained physical violence and other personal humiliations.
“So dominated did she become that only in 2012 when she was 21 did she feel able to break off contact and start to lead her own life.
“Two years later we became aware of her experiences through a third-party in whom she had confided, and with the agreement of both parties we were able to carefully develop a full picture of what had happened to her.
“This has now culminated in Koch being given a very long term of imprisonment and other measures to help prevent him re-offending.
“The victim is still receiving support and counselling.”
Koch will also be a registered sex offender for life and was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order to last indefinitely, severely restricting his access to young girls.
DC Richardson added:
“This shows that we will always investigate every case wherever possible, no matter how long ago they may have occurred, to seek justice and support for the victims.
“Nobody should have to suffer abuse.”
Anyone wishing to talk to police in such a situation can call 101 and arrange to talk in confidence to experienced investigators.