Monday 2 October 2023
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Nottinghamshire sex offender jailed for repeatedly abusing young girl

An ‘unrepentant’ sex offender has been jailed after a jury found him guilty of repeatedly sexually abusing a young girl.

Alan Copeland, aged 59, began abusing the girl nearly a decade ago and told her to keep what happened a secret.

He was finally exposed when the girl was old enough to understand what had happened and confided in her family.

Nottinghamshire Police was informed, and Copeland was arrested and interviewed by specialist child abuse detectives.

Copeland angrily denied the allegations against him but was later charged with three counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

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During a two-day trial at Nottingham Crown Court, a jury heard compelling video testimony from the girl, and were also made aware of two similar convictions against Copeland dating back to the 1990s.

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On Wednesday (5 September) he was found guilty of all three offences and jailed for six years.

Copeland, formerly of Third Avenue, Rainworth, was also added to the sex offenders’ register and made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order, which will tightly restrict his access to young people once he is released.

Detective Constable Gemma Sidebottom, who led the investigation, said:

“Copeland is an unrepentant sex offender who thought he could abuse an innocent child with impunity, but he clearly hadn’t reckoned on the bravery and determination of his victim.

“As she grew older, she realised what had happened to her all those years ago was wrong and told someone about what had happened to her.

“That is a huge step for anyone to take – let alone for someone who is still a child – so I really am full of admiration for the dignity and resolve she has shown throughout this process.

“With no physical evidence to rely on, the success of this prosecution really came down to the meticulous details she provided in her evidence and her believability as a witness.

“Thanks to her, Copeland has been exposed as a danger to young girls and will now spend a considerable amount of time in prison.

“I hope this case provides encouragement to other young people who have been abused in similar ways in the past. We will listen to you, we will investigate and we will seek criminal charges where we can.”

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