A PAEDOPHILE who got a 13-year-old pregnant when she was a schoolgirl in the 1990s has been jailed for more than six years.

A court heard how the unborn child of Andrew Higgs and the complainant had health complications and the victim was advised to terminate the pregnancy.

The 43-year-old mechanic, of Meadow Close, Pengam, near Blackwood, had admitted his crime at the time to the authorities but nothing was ever done.

The judge, Recorder Mark Powell QC, told Higgs: “It is a source of considerable mystery and concern that neither the police nor social services took any action.

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“You admitted the offence but nobody did anything about it.”

He added: “You groomed this 13-year-old girl and I have heard moving testimony from the complainant by her victim personal statement.

“You took advantage of her age. You knew full well how old she was.”

Cardiff Crown Court heard how the victim had made a complaint to the police after watching a storyline about grooming on TV soap Coronation Street.

Prosecutor Laurence Jones said: “The defendant would buy her gifts, cigarettes and alcohol.

“She told police officers she felt haunted by what he did to her and that he had groomed her.

The victim told the court: “I feel totally lost as if I have lost my identity.

“I have nightmares which make me scream and cry.

“The majority of the time I struggle to sleep at all.

“I will have to live with this heartbreak for the rest of my life.

“I feel robbed of my innocence and childhood.”

Andrew Taylor, mitigating, said: “It was a brave plea. He saved the complainant and witnesses the anxiety of coming to court and giving evidence and a huge saving of public money.

“The defendant was an immature young man who perhaps had not grown up.”

His barrister said his client had never been convicted of a sexual offence previously and was last before the court 17 years ago.

Mr Taylor added: “He has rebuilt his life and is a hard-working man who is a respected member of the community.

“He is the rock for his family.”

Recorder Mark Powell QC, jailed Higgs for six years and six months.

This was made up of a custodial term of five years and six months and an extended licence period of 12 months after his release from prison

He must register as a sex offender for life.

Higgs admitted unlawful sexual intercourse with a child and indecency with a child.