A 43-year-old man has been jailed for a total of 18 years after being found guilty of rape, sexual assault and taking indecent images of a young girl.

Karl Raine, formerly of Warren Avenue, Fakenham, was sentenced on Wednesday after a two-and-a-half week trial at Norwich Crown Court.

Raine had denied the offences but a jury found him guilty of one count of rape of a child under 13, two of sexual assault of a child under 16, two of making and taking indecent images and a firearms offence.

The prosecution followed information received from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.

Warrants were executed in 2014 at Raine’s address by members of Norfolk Constabulary’s Safeguarding Children Online Team and Raine was charged with six offences a year later.

In January of this year, when officers conducted a further search his property, Raine threatened them with what was later found to be an imitation firearm.

After the conviction, investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Ngaire Alexander, said: “This is another case which highlights that the internet is not a safe anonymous space for accessing indecent images or grooming and abusing children. If you do, you will leave a digital footprint and we will find it.

“We would urge anyone who has been abused or sexually assaulted to come forward, safe in the knowledge that we, together with our partners within child protection, will provide help and support, and do all we can to identify, charge and bring before the courts those responsible.

“I cannot take away from the impact that this abuse had on the victim in this case, but today justice has been served and a predatory and manipulative child sex offender faces the consequences of his actions.”