A man who sexually assaulted a vulnerable young girl has been imprisoned as a result of an inquiry conducted by specialised safeguarding officers in Leeds.

Calum Stephenson, aged 20, singled out the victim, who was below the age of 13, in June of the previous year.

Detectives from the Leeds District Safeguarding Unit launched an investigation after the girl’s mother contacted the police to report the incidents.

Stephenson was apprehended and initially refuted the charges, but subsequently admitted to two counts of raping a girl under 13 and one count of enticing a girl under 13 to participate in sexual activity.

Today, he was sentenced to eight years in prison with an additional one-year licence extension at Leeds Crown Court.

Additionally, he has been issued with a lifelong Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will be registered as a sex offender for life.

Detective Inspector Carl Morrison, of Leeds District Safeguarding Unit, said: “Stephenson preyed on this vulnerable young girl to sexually exploit her, and his depraved actions have understandably had a lasting traumatic impact on the victim.

“This was a complex and challenging investigation where painstaking work by the officer in the case, DC Rall, was able to secure the vital DNA and CCTV evidence that ultimately led to Stephenson’s guilty pleas and conviction for these offences.

“Despite her young age and the trauma she was put through, the victim has shown real bravery in coming forward initially and throughout the investigation.

“We hope that seeing Stephenson brought to justice will provide some level of reassurance to her and her family as they continue to move on with their lives.

“We also hope that the successful outcome of this case will give other victims of similar offences the confidence to come forward knowing they will be listened to and supported.”