An ‘utterly repellent’ sexual abuser has been jailed for 17 years after he repeatedly tried to rape a young girl.

Kieron Jackson, aged 32, of Holm Court, Salford, was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault of a child aged under 13 and two of attempted rape of a child under 13.

He had sexually abused a nine-year-old girl in Bolton on 21 occasions and also tried to rape her several times.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Jackson inflicted the ‘utterly appalling’ abuse regularly on his victim.

Julian Goode, prosecuting, said: “This happened regularly, repeatedly as part of the overall sexual abuse.”

Mr Goode told the court how Jackson’s victim was badly affected has been left “distrustful” and “wary” of other people.

He added that Jackson’s crimes were all the more serious given the regularity with which he tried to commit them.

Paul Johnson, defending, admitted that Jackson was not a man of good character but pointed out that he had no previous convictions for similar kinds of crimes and that he has been “hard-working and industrious” throughout his life.

He added that the long period he was due to spend in prison would ‘change’ Jackson significantly.

Judge Tom Gilbart told Jackson that his actions show he clearly poses a high risk of harm to other people, especially children.

He said: “This was utterly repellent behaviour, the victim was a young child.”

He added: “Childhood should be a time of innocence and you took that away from her for your own selfish ends.”

Judge Gilbart admitted that Jackson’s attempted rapes were ‘incomplete’ and that he stopped when the victim started to cry but pointed out that the behaviour still occurred repeatedly.

As well as the prison sentence, Jackson was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for life.