Rapist abused young girl when he was a child, court is told
A rapist who targeted a young girl while he was a child himself has been handed an eight-year jail term.
Callum Laws, who is now 21, is thought to have targeted the youngster when he was between the age of 12 and 15, then again last year after which he was finally arrested.
He admitted a charge of sexual activity with a child and supplying cannabis from November last year.
He was found guilty after a trial at Leeds Crown Court of rape of a child under 13 and two counts of sexual touching dating between 2005 and 2008.
Prosecutor Tom Storey told the the court that the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had "struggled to articulate her feelings" over the abuse she suffered so no impact statement was prepared for the court.
Laws, a former member of the armed forces from Ashwood Court, Fitzwilliam, had just one previous conviction to his name - a driving-related matter from 2019.
He had been held on remand since his arrest in December and appeared in court via video link from HMP Leeds.
Mitigating, Michael Collins said for the charges dating back more than a decade, he reminded the court that Laws had been a child himself, and as young as 12.
He said: "My submission is that he was experimenting."
He said that Laws himself had been a victim of repeated sexual abuse by a much older child when he was five.
Mr Collins added: "He never raised an issue and lived with these experiences and the lack of understanding of these experiences.
"It's in this context that he then commits the offences against another child.
"The fact that he is expressing this historic trauma is encouraging for his rehabilitation. He is coming to terms with his own abuse."
Recorder Dapinder Singh QC jailed Laws for eight years, and made him subject of a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) for 15 years.