A 72-year-old former Teignbridge man has been jailed for sexually abusing a young girl more than half-a-century ago.

Michael Redgrave, of Barn Close in Crewkerne, Somerset, committed the offences while he was living in the Teignbridge area in the 1960s.

The victim was aged between six and eight when she was subjected to the abuse.

Redgrave was found guilty of seven charges including buggery, attempted rape of a child, and indecency with a child following a trial in January.

Redgrave was sentenced to 11 years in prison at Exeter Crown Court.

Detective Constable Victoria Hayward, who led the investigation, praised the bravery of the victim who came forward to report the offences to police in February 2018.

‘Her tenacity, strength, courage and resilience throughout the investigation and the court trial have been extraordinary,’ said Det Con Hayward.

‘The abuse she suffered as a young child has had a significant impact on her for the whole of her life, affecting her physical and mental health and relationships.

‘It is hoped that the victim can now move forward in her life and that the outcome of the investigation and the conviction of Redgrave will bring some closure for her.’

During the investigation the victim received support from the Officer in the Case Det Con Hayward, a Sexual Offence Liaison Officer (SOLO), an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) and a Witness Care Officer.

‘The victim, who had never been to court before in her life, stated that all she ever wanted was for people to believe her.

‘The investigation gave her the opportunity to air her demons and took away the stigma she had always felt.

‘Somehow, just going through the process gave her total peace in her mind, due to the wonderful kindness of the officer in the case and her colleagues.

‘The victim has said she does not have the words to appreciate all that has been done for her and she would be forever grateful for the support she has received and the hard work and determination that has resulted in this conviction.

‘After receiving the guilty verdict, she said that the negativity that she had borne was beginning to disappear.

‘She was stunned to learn of the prison sentence stating that, at most, she had expected the Redgrave to receive a suspended sentence,’ said Det Con Hayward.

Detective Superintendent Nicky Seager, Devon and Cornwall Police’s Sexual Offences Lead, said: ‘I welcome the custodial sentence of Michael Redgrave which demonstrates that, despite significant time passed, those responsible for such despicable crimes will be investigated fully.

‘I wish to commend the bravery and perseverance of the victim in this case and all those who supported in achieving this outcome including the investigating officers, our partners at the Crown Prosecution Service and the Independent Sexual Violence Advisor services from First Light.

‘I would like to reassure the public that the force takes all reports of sexual abuse seriously and this conviction illustrates how we are determined to bring offenders to justice no matter how long ago a crime may have taken place.’


Anyone who may have been affected by anything raised in this article can contact police in their local area by emailing [email protected] calling 101.

The freephone NSPCC helpline 0808 800 5000 is available for anyone to report or seek advice about non-recent abuse. Calls can be made anonymously.