West Midlands Police have praised the bravery of a woman who came forward to report that she was sexually abused as a young child, leading to her attacker being jailed for 16 years.

Andrew Hayes, 64, targeted the youngster over a period of several years, but told her she would never be believed and would be taken away by social services if she told anyone.

In July last year, she gathered the courage to report the abuse to West Midlands Police. Hayes was arrested that month and initially denied the offences.

On 25 September this year, the defendant, of Ladywood, was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court after being found guilty of six charges of sexual abuse and one of rape.

Detective Constable Danette Calvey, of the Central Sexual Offences team, said: “Thanks to this young woman’s courage in reporting the abuse to police, we were able to carry out a complex investigation which involved liaison with other authorities.

“I hope that this outcome will encourage others to have confidence that we take all such reports very seriously and investigate very thoroughly.”

You can report child sex abuse to West Midlands Police on 101 or via the new website function website.

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood is a charity providing survivors of non-recent abuse with support and advice. Visit: http://www.napac.org.uk/ or call 0808 801 0331.