The brave victim of a dangerous paedophile who raped and sexually abused her over a period of five years when she was a child has said the justice system 'needs to change' when it comes to investigating serious sexual assaults.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons and who is now an adult, stood up in court and read a lengthy personal statement in which she detailed how she thinks the justice system is more geared to supporting perpetrators of sexual abuse and rape than it is to supporting victims.

Preston Crown Court heard how David Sallis committed the heinous crimes between 2004 and 2009, when the woman was between the ages of eight and 12 and he was aged around 27.

Sallis, of Whalley Banks, Blackburn, was sentenced for five counts of rape, and assault by penetration, all of which he pleaded guilty to an at earlier hearing.

Francis McEntee, prosecuting, told the court the abuse began when the child was just eight years old, and would take place at various locations including in Bury and Peterborough.

Lancashire Telegraph: David SallisDavid Sallis (Image: Lancs Police)

The abuse stopped when the child turned 12, but she was too afraid to report the crimes to the police until several years later.

Mr McEntee said: “The Crown say this was a lengthy and sustained period of the worst kind of sexual abuse, and the pre-sentence report shows a complete failure to appreciate the magnitude of what he had done.

“The defendant seeks to minimise his actions, but there was a real and severe psychological harm caused to the victim.”

Mitigating for Sallis, Ayesha Smart said he had last committed a crime before this campaign of sick sexual abuse in 1998, and had worked every day in prison since being remanded in custody.

However, in a statement read to the court, Sallis’ victim detailed how she had been left anxious and traumatised by the abuse but refused to let it define her or her future.

She said: “It’s been a very long process and I can hand on heart say I can 100 per cent understand why victims of rape and sexual abuse don’t come forward.

“The system is flawed. Had I not had the support at home or the support from the officer in charge of my case I would not have been able to fight.

“We have a system that supports paedophiles more than victims. The person who committed the vilest crimes has had the most support.

“The only person who picked up the phone and explained things to me was the officer in charge of my case.

“I am yet to receive any support from victim support and am yet to be assigned a support officer.

“I didn’t even know the date of this sentencing, I found out from the Crown Prosecution Service.

“Do I not deserve an explanation, or do victims just need to be left in the dark? Things need to change.

“I should not have to wait for a call from the officer so he can explain what the next steps are.

“The NSPCC published a report into child sexual abuse statistics which showed one in 20 children in the UK had been sexually abused.

“More recent statistics from Rape Crisis show that one in six children have been abused.

“We are told about how many women and children are victims of these crimes, but never about how many men commit these crimes.

“We are told about how many victims of harassment there are, but never about how many men are committing the harassments.

“We are told statistics about teenage pregnancies, but never about the boys and men getting these women pregnant.

“Men aren’t even part of it. A change needs to be made.”

In sentencing, Recorder Michael Maher praised the victim for her bravery, and addressing Sallis he said: “Your sexual deviancy robbed her of her formative years and damaged her adolescent and adult life.

“I have listened in total to her victim personal statement and the profound impact it has had upon her.

“While you have pleaded guilty I don’t accept that you have any remorse.

“I believe you are dangerous as defined by statute and you do pose a risk of significant harm.”

Sallis, 47, was jailed for 14 years and three months and was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order until further notice.

He must also sign the sex offender’s register for life.

DC Phil Scott, of East CID, said: “The victim has shown tremendous courage throughout this process. The way she dealt with such a heinous crime has been truly inspirational. Most people could not comprehend what she has lived through.

“I welcome the sentence handed down Sallis, which reflects the seriousness of his crime.”