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Stranger who raped girl, 3, as she vanished from family ‘for minutes’ jailed

A stranger who raped a three-year-old girl while she was on a family day out on the Isle of Wight has been jailed.

Graham Medway pleaded guilty to attacking the girl, who had become separated from her family for a matter of minutes, in Yarmouth.

The 62-year-old from the Freshwater area, appeared at Isle of Wight Crown Court on Friday for sentencing.

Judge Roger Hetherington told him: “I have little doubt that you were loitering in the park area waiting for this sort of opportunity…

“You present a significant risk to members of the public of serious harm by the commission of further specified offences.”

The child had been enjoying a sunny day out with her family at the popular Fort Victoria Country Park in August last year, a court heard.

Her parents say the incident changed their beloved daughter and added: “This is something we are going to have to live with forever.”

The court heard how the girl’s parents had lost sight of her as she ran along an uneven path ahead of them.

It was then, prosecutor David Richards said, that she was attacked by Medway.

Her parents, who had been searching for her, found her about eight minutes later.

Medway was charged with rape of a child and pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

His defence barrister Elizabeth Bussey-Jones cited his guilty plea and added: “He knows that nothing he can say or do will undo the harm that he has done and the worry that the family feel they will continue to experience.”

In a moving statement read out in court, the girl’s mother said: “We as parents have to live with this forever and are worried about the consequences this will have for our family in the long term.

“When we go out for a family walk I am badly on edge.”

Medway was handed a nine-year prison sentence, with a further five years of extended licence upon his release.

He will serve at least two thirds of the jail term before he can be considered for parole.