An ‘evil’ woman has been jailed for 22 years for the sexual abuse of four young girls.
Jessica Brennan, known as Allan Brennan when the offences were committed, abused the school-aged children between 1998 and 2016.
She tried to rape one of the victims and another girl was subjected to systematic abuse over the course of a decade, which involved “multiple” incidents, the court heard.
None of the victims, who York Crown Court heard had been “haunted” by the abuse at the hands of Brennan, can be named for legal reasons.
She groomed then sexually assaulted the children at least 86 times.
Prosecutor Philip Standfast said one of the victims came forward to police with allegations against Brennan as early as 2000 but no charges were brought.
The allegations re-emerged three to four years ago when the abuse finally stopped and other girls came forward, the court heard.
One of the victims said she had suffered anxiety attacks since the abuse and had been taking antidepressants as a result.
She had been unable to form proper relationships and felt inexplicable guilt, the court was told.
Another victim had counselling sessions due to anxiety after losing her “self-worth and self-esteem”.
In a statement, the victim told the court: “This has affected my family. Anything that this evil man gets won’t be enough for what he’s done to me and my family.”
Another victim spoke of her “pain and suffering over the last 21 years”.
She said: “I had minimum understanding of what was happening to me. The comprehension of what happened to me as a child makes me sick to my stomach.
“I’m constantly haunted by what happened to me.”
She said she got flashbacks to the abuse and was put on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication for panic attacks.
The fourth victim said she “always felt [the abuse] was my fault”.
Brennan, from Harrogate, was charged with 16 separate offences including sexual assault of a child, indecent assault, sexual activity with a child and one count of attempted rape of a girl under 13.
After a trial earlier this year, she was found guilty and appeared for sentence via video link on Monday.
Three other allegations of sexual abuse were “severed” and not-guilty verdicts recorded.
Judge Simon Hickey told Brennan: “You are in my mind a dangerous offender [and] there is a risk of you causing [further] serious harm to young females.”
He added: “You chose to hide behind these offences, claiming you had no memory [beyond] a few years ago.”
As well as a custodial sentence, Brennan was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order which will run for an indefinite period and limit her contact with children.
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