A Leighton Buzzard pensioner has been jailed for 14 years after being convicted of child abuse dating back 50 years.
James Smith, 85, of Steppingstone Place, was found guilty of 10 counts of sexual abuse following a trial at Luton Crown Court in October.
He was convicted of six counts of rape, two counts of inciting a child to commit an act of gross indecency and two counts of indecent assault.
On Friday, Judge Alan Greenwood sentenced Smith to 14 years’ imprisonment.
During the trial the jury heard how Smith, pictured, sexually abused a young girl over a number of years in the 1960s and 1970s.
An investigation was launched after the victim came forward to police in 2015.
Investigating Officer Anthony Arrow said: “Smith carried out his despicable abuse over a number of years and we are pleased that he has now been brought to justice.
“The force is continuing to tackle sexual abuse and protect the vulnerable. We want to send a message of reassurance to victims that we will take you seriously and we will investigate all reports of this abhorrent crime. This case should show that it’s never too late to report abuse.
“It takes great courage to come forward and although nothing can change what happened, we hope the results will bring some comfort to the victim.”