A man has been jailed for 17 years for historic sexual offences against a child.
Alan Dreha, aged 70, of Kirkby was jailed for 17 years, plus two on licence for 14 counts of sexual assault.
The court heard how Dreha subjected his young victim to sexual assault for a period of 11 years, between 1990 and 2001.
Following a trial, Dreha was convicted on Monday 16 May and sentenced yesterday, Thursday 23 June, at Liverpool Crown Court.
Detective Inspector Yoseph Al-Ramadhan said, “Dreha denied his offending meaning his victim was forced to endure a trial. We welcome that he will now spend a considerable amount of time behind bars to consider the consequences of his actions.
“I would like to take this opportunity to praise Dreha’s victim for their courage in coming forward to report his crimes, and the dignity they have shown throughout the whole of this investigation.
“While no sentence will repair the damage that Dreha’s abuse has caused, I hope that by seeing Dreha sent to prison for a long time, this will give his victim some sort of closure and allow them to move on with their lives knowing he cannot harm anyone else.
“We are committed to protecting victims of sexual offences, and anyone who reports an incident to us will be safeguarded and supported throughout the investigation.
“Anyone that has been a victim of a sexual offence, is concerned for the safety of someone they know or suspects someone to be engaging in this criminal activity, should come forward and speak to us. We have a team of dedicated staff who will expertly and compassionately deal with your reports and we will do everything we can to bring offenders to justice.
“Time is no barrier to reporting offences and I would urge anyone who has been victim of a sexual offence at any time to come forward and we will do everything we can to help and support them.”
Senior Crown Prosecutor Sarah Egan, a specialist lawyer with CPS Mersey Cheshire’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offences unit (RASSO) said, “Alan Dreha repeatedly sexually abused this victim over many years, from childhood through to early adulthood. He was controlling, and manipulated and groomed the victim in order to satisfy his own sexual needs. He maintained her silence with threats. This has been an appalling, gross abuse of trust. He has shown no remorse at all for what he has done to his victim.
“She has spoken of how difficult she found it to write her Victim Personal Statement. She said she felt controlled and manipulated throughout childhood. She still struggles to trust people, and it has severely affected her mental health, to the point where she has contemplated suicide. She said that ‘it is such a lonely life you live when you are the victim of sexual abuse’.
“Dreha has spent the last thirty-two years living a lie and maintaining an image of a respectable life, whilst the victim has had to endure, and deal with, the consequences of the sexual abuse she has suffered. There is absolutely no doubt that Dreha’s actions have caused this victim grave harm.
“The Crown Prosecution Service would like to thank the victim and family for the courage and strength they have shown throughout the proceedings, as well as the parties involved who have assisted in bringing a successful prosecution. We hope that the prosecution allows the victim to move forwards with her life.”
Anyone with information or wants to report a sexual offence is asked to call 101 where you will be spoken to by specially trained officers or you can pass information to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
If you’ve been affected by sexual violence of any kind, support is available through the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Victim Care Merseyside service delivered jointly by two registered charities.
In Liverpool, Sefton and Wirral, support is provided by Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (RASA) Merseyside who are available on 0151 558 1801 and, in St Helens and Knowsley, by the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) Cheshire and Merseyside who can be contacted on 01925 221 546 or 0330 363 0063.
Merseyside Police has recently launched a plan to tackle the issue of violence against women and girls and help women and girls to feel safe and be safe across Merseyside. The link can be found here: Our commitment to keeping women and girls safe in Merseyside
If you are a child or young person suffering sexual or physical abuse, the following organisations can also provide help and support:
NSPCC – call 0808 800 5000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Childline – call 0800 1111
Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre Cheshire and Merseyside, who can be contacted on 01925 221 546 or 0330 363 0063 or Rape and Sexual Assault Merseyside (RASA) on 0151 558 1801.
Image: Alan Dreha courtesy of Merseyside Police