A WOMAN who was sexually abused for a decade left court in tears after it was heard her attacker 'believes he was the victim of a precocious, sexualised child'.

Barry Guscott, 70, groomed and abused the woman when she was a little girl in the 60s and 70s.

A judge last week told the defendant he was "living in a fantasy land" after it was heard Guscott has a "total lack of insight" into the harm he caused his victim.

Guscott, of Mossley Avenue in Poole, was jailed for six years and nine months at Bournemouth Crown Court after admitting three counts of indecently assaulting a girl aged under 16 and one of gross indecency with a child under 14.

Richard Onslow, prosecuting, said the abuse started when the child was just three. It continued until she was at secondary school, and happened around once a week.

The final and most serious abuse happened when the victim was aged around 11 or 12, it was heard. Guscott was initially charged with rape in connection with the incident, although the charge was ordered to lie on file.

Mr Onslow read aloud the victim's personal impact statement to the court.

In it, she said she has suffered with self-harm and attempted to commit suicide. She has also been on anti-depressants for much of her life, it was heard.

"I don't remember big chunks of my life. I had to put hard memories behind a door," she said.

"I have blacked out good things too, including my children's birth weights."

The court heard the victim decided to confront Guscott at his home last year, decades after the abuse had ended. She had been working with the Truth Project, part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

"She was sufficiently emboldened," Mr Onslow said.

"He admitted he had touched her, but in her words, his attitude was 'like it was nothing, like it didn't matter'."

She then went to the police.

Harvey Withecombe, mitigating, said Guscott has no previous convictions. The defendant admits his actions caused his victim "significant psychological harm", it was heard.

However, Judge Robert Pawson said the defendant told probation officers he believed his victim had "enjoyed" the abuse.

Deliberately questioned, Guscott told officials he believed he was a victim himself, and the little girl he abused was a "precocious, sexualised child", the court heard.

"You live in a fantasy land," Judge Pawson told the defendant.

"You said you believed your victim enjoyed your actions.

"You feel she encouraged you."

The judge said the defendant has not committed any further crimes, but added: "There is an absence of any positive good character."

As Guscott was led to the cells, the victim's family wept and hugged each other before thanking the judge.