A sex offender whose actions “destroyed” his victim’s family has been jailed for 16 years.

Maleke Martin, 26, was sentenced yesterday to 13½ years in prison on one count of sexual exploitation by a person in a position of trust and 16 years on another count of sexual exploitation by a person in a position of trust.

He also received six years for showing offensive material to a child.

During his sentencing, Puisne Judge Shade Subair Williams told Martin: “It’s because of you that people feel this world is unsafe — especially parents.

“You broke the heart of a mother, and you have single-handedly used your position to exploit a child and ruin her life.”

All sentences were ordered to run concurrently, and Martin must serve eight years of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

The Supreme Court heard during his trial that Martin moved in with the victim’s family in August 2020.

The victim told her grandmother in October that year that Martin had shown her an inappropriate video and made her perform lewd acts.

The grandmother told the victim’s mother, who then kicked Martin out of the house and filed a complaint with police.

An investigation commenced and Martin was eventually arrested and charged in March 2021.

Martin stood trial last December and was found guilty on all counts.

The court earlier heard impact statements from the victim and her mother, who both described how they had been plagued by anxiety and feelings of betrayal.

Cindy Clarke, the Director of Public Prosecutions, who spoke on behalf of the victim, told the court that Martin took advantage of her “innocent and trusting nature” and made her “pinky promise not to tell” of his abuse.

She said that the girl had been so traumatised by the events that by the time Martin stood trial, she initially recounted the events only by writing them down.

Ms Clarke added: “When she would recount the events, she would seek to hide by crawling under a table.

“And when she would eventually share details of the incident, she would scratch her arms uncontrollably.”

Ms Clarke said that the girl had developed a compulsion to scratch at her arms and, because of this, developed a skin condition.

The mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said that Martin was not related to the family — but she still saw him as a little brother and her daughter’s favourite “Uncle Leke”.

The mother added: “Never in a million years did I think someone so close to me and my daughter would betray us in such a horrible way.

“Someone my daughter saw as her favourite uncle and someone I saw as my brother.”

She said: “I allowed you into my daughter’s life because I trusted you.

“I used to tease you and call you my second child sometimes, especially when you needed help with the simplest task, like filling out your paperwork for job applications.”

The mother wrote that she beat herself up daily since the incident and spent her nights questioning what she could have done to avoid the incident.

She said: “There are days I am so depressed that I cannot move or eat. There are many days where my anxiety is so high that I am afraid to let my daughter out of my eyesight.

“Some days I am afraid to send her to school because I am unable to see her and, therefore, I cannot protect her.

“There are days I find it hard to be around my daughter and look her in her sweet face because I don’t want to cry in front of her.”

The woman wrote that Martin’s actions made her once-friendly daughter too anxious to even leave the house sometimes.

She explained that her daughter struggles to go to crowded areas such as school or stores, and had missed out on “opportunities of being a kid” such as birthday parties.

The mother wrote: “You have destroyed our lives and you should be ashamed of yourself.

“You used to be the greatest person in our lives, but now you are nothing but a learnt lesson for us.”

A police spokesman said that the trial was the first time the Special Measures for Child Witnesses in Criminal Cases legislation was used on island.

The measure, part of the Child Safeguarding (Miscellaneous Amendment) Act 2019, allowed for pre-recorded evidence to be used in the trial instead of having the victim take the stand.

The police spokesman added: “The BPS take our role in child safeguarding seriously, which involves ongoing partnerships with the Government, the judiciary and relevant community organisations to help protect young, vulnerable people.”

Martin will be placed on the Sex Offenders Register and must complete a 15-year supervision order upon his release from prison.

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