A PAEDOPHILE who groomed and sexually assaulted a young girl over a five-year period has been jailed for 14 years today.

John Reed, of Finchley, pleaded guilty to 11 counts including filming himself having oral sex with the girl, and taking photographs of her in “various states of undress” aged as young as nine.

The unemployed 49-year-old failed to appear at Wood Green Crown Court for his sentencing today, after refusing to leave his prison cell this morning.

Many of the incidents happened when the victim was aged between eight and 13. He used drugs and booze to coerce her into the sexual acts.

She had never told her family of the abuse, which was only uncovered when police raided Reed's home in Coppetts Close, after he had been caught looking at child pornography on the internet.

On the “numerous” PCs seized they discovered a file with the victim's name on it, which contained a video of Reed engaging in oral sex with the girl aged just 12. Cannabis plants were also growing at the address.

In mitigation, defence barrister Fride Hussain told the court: “He pleaded guilty, there must inevitably create a great deal of shame that releases.

“One reason he is not here is he may not be able to confront the great many people in court. The plea of guilt is the first step and the first time he has ever admitted it's so terribly wrong.

“He needs to have a good look at himself and address the issues that led him to do what he did.”

She said his guilty plea, despite coming on the morning his trial was due to start, should act as a mitigating factor in the case.

A victim impact statement given to the court told how she had been affected mentally and sexually, and the abuse had led to bouts of depression and a battle with “self-medication” with drugs to help her cope.

The girl, who was in court to hear the sentence, wept as judge Recorder Oliver Davies QC listed the roll call of vile crimes he admitted to, leaving four other counts on file.

Sentencing the judge said: “They are about as serious offences of a sexual nature as you can imagine. You only have to look at the victim impact statement to see the effect it's had upon her.

“It includes the familiar damage and injury caused by sexual abuse from a very early age. She describes the feeling of being robbed of her virginity, depression, experiences of recall caused by triggers that occur in everyday life.

“It's impacted the conduct of her relationships and has led her, through this unhappy situation, to self medicate. I can only imagine what it was like for this child to carry the burden of what had occurred for so long, keeping it to herself.”

He added: “Any offences that involve the violation of a person and jeopardises their healthy sexual and mental development is about as serious an injury as you can inflict on a person, let alone a child.”

He ordered 14 years imprisonment for the count of oral rape, with the other offences receiving sentences between six and twelve months to run concurrent to that.