A man found guilty of more than a dozen child sex offences has been sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Luke Wallace from Swanley was responsible for a catalogue of repeated abuse, including multiple rapes, and used threats to ensure his young victim didn’t tell anyone.
Allegations of abuse were first made to Kent Police on 14 June 2022, and Wallace was arrested the same day.
An investigation by the West Kent Child Protection Team established he had persistently targeted the victim, over a period spanning between three and four years.
Following his arrest, several devices belonging to Wallace were seized. These included a mobile phone, which officers discovered had a secure folder and contained illegal images of children.
During police interviews, Wallace dismissed all the allegations. He also denied taking or downloading the images found on his phone and said it must have been down to ‘someone else’.
At Wood Green Crown Court, Wallace, 36, pleaded not guilty to a total of 16 child sex offences and the case went to trial.
He was found guilty of four counts of rape, four counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and two counts of sexual assault.
Wallace was also convicted of four charges which related to making and taking indecent images of a child. A jury returned a verdict of not guilty for a further two counts of rape.
Wallace was deemed by Judge Alexander Jacobs to be a ‘dangerous’ offender. On Monday 18 December 2023, he received an extended sentence of 17 years’ imprisonment with an additional four years on licence.
He must serve at least two thirds of the custodial sentence before he can apply for parole. He was also added to the sex offenders’ register, indefinitely.
Leading the investigation was Detective Constable Sarah Ireland, who said:
‘Wallace targeted his victim from a young age and then went on to systematically abuse and rape them. He made threats to the child to try and ensure their silence, but thankfully their school became aware and our officers were informed.
‘The damage Wallace has caused is both horrific and incalculable. Today’s lengthy sentence will not take away the profound emotional and physical trauma this child was forced to endure, but it will hopefully go some way to reassuring them Wallace can no longer cause them any harm.
‘As a force, we remain determined to identify those who seek to abuse children and ensure they are brought to justice. If you, or someone you know, have been the subject of child sexual abuse, regardless of how long ago it was, then please contact us. No one should suffer in silence. You will be listened to, and you will be believed.’