A 14-year-old girl has told how her childhood was blighted by the sexual abuse of an Ilkeston man.
Her statement was read in court as Derick Bestwick was jailed for 14 months and put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for a decade.
She said: “Since this case has been going on, I feel like I have been living through a nightmare and gone through lots of different emotions.
“I have suffered with depression and anxiety and struggling to come to terms. I have felt very angry, having outbursts towards my loved ones, taking frustrations out on them, which is unfair. But I don’t know how else to act.
“I spend a lot of time in my bedroom, having lost a lot of self belief and becoming withdrawn, not wanting to spend time with my family and friends.
“If I am alone, I find it very uncomfortable with males, believing something may happen. I can’t get this thought out of my head.
“I feel he has taken part of my childhood by what he did,” Nottingham Crown Court heard.
Bestwick was around 57 when the offences began. He kissed her neck and later touched her bottom and breasts over her clothing.
Judge John Burgess said the offences were made worse because of the wide age gap between the girl and Bestwick, 59, whose address was given as Kerry Drive, Ilkeston.
“There was an element of grooming behaviour. You bombarded her with text messages. I take the point these were emotional messages, rather than inviting some kind of sexual activity,” the judge said. Bestwick must not be alone with any girl under 16 for the next 10 years.
On the second day of his trial, Bestwick admitted four counts of the sexual activity with a child between January and October 2016.
Alexander Krikler, prosecuting, said the offences came to light after the girl mentioned them at school. The pastoral officer was involved and police were called in.
The girl told an officer that the touching often took place after he asked: “Give me a hug.” He was later found to have sent her 4,000 text messages.
Cathy Ryan, mitigating, said these did not include matters of a ‘sexual nature’ but made him sound like a ‘particularly needy schoolboy.
“There was a certain amount of innocence about them,” she told the judge.
Bestwick has suffered five heart attacks and medical staff had inserted five stents and a defibrillator.
“They attempted to put in a sixth stent but decided the walls of the arteries were not strong enough,” added Miss Ryan.
During the hearing, two women were ordered out of the courtroom after comments were made as the case was being outlined.