A girl who was groomed and sexually abused by a man three times her age told him “I refuse to be a victim to you” as he was sentenced to 18 years in prison. 

The vulnerable girl was just 13 when 43-year-old Dwayne Aitken approached her in the street in Stoke Newington

He later plied her with drugs, sexually abused her and raped her – despite knowing her age. 

During Aitken’s sentencing hearing at Wood Green Crown Court on Tuesday (September 12) the survivor, now aged 17, said: “I say the following to Dwayne Aitken, I know this may seem like all a big joke to you but I hope you understand you’ve ruined not only my life but my family's as well. 

“You laughed hysterically the last time I saw you outside. Every night I cried myself to sleep after that, thinking how cruel one can be.  

“A person can tell 100 lies but the truth will always remain the truth. You’ve taken so much from me but I refuse to be a victim of you for the rest of my life.” 

Aitken first approached her on February 24, 2019, as she walked along Brooke Road in Stoke Newington. 

He said his name was ‘Sean’ and told her to wait for him at Stoke Newington Common. Scared and not knowing what to do, she phoned her friends. 

He then invited her back to his flat and she agreed. When they arrived he rolled a cannabis joint and asked if she wanted to smoke it. 

When she refused he told her “to just have it” and put it in her mouth. 

She asked if she could invite her friends round and they then arrived and challenged Aitken, telling him that she was just 11 (even younger than she actually was). This interaction was filmed. 

The young girl was dealing with mental health issues, loneliness and problems at home – and in August 2019 she ran away from home. 

She contacted Aitken and turned up at his address wearing her school uniform – this was the first time he sexually abused her. Other meetings followed. 

In December 2019 she experienced a breakdown and told a teacher she had problems with cannabis and cocaine, admitting that she self-harmed to distract herself from her problems. 

Then in January 2020 police were made aware of the disclosures by Social Services, which immediately prompted an investigation into child sexual exploitation. 

On February 13 her family reported her missing and managed to track her location to Brooke Road, Aitken’s flat. 

Officers attended and Aitken was arrested at the scene and later charged. 

Hackney Gazette: Dwayne Aitken was found guilty of numerous sexual offences on August 17Dwayne Aitken was found guilty of numerous sexual offences on August 17 (Image: Met Police)

Following a trial where he denied everything, a jury found Aitken guilty of three counts of rape, one count of attempted rape, two counts of supplying Class B drugs to another, one count of sexual assault, one count of sexual activity, one count of attempted rape, two counts of inciting sexual activity and one count of supplying Class A drugs. 

Speaking to the Hackney Gazette, Detective Constable Rob Johnston, who led the investigation, said: “This has taken very important years of her childhood and education. 

“To come forward and go through the criminal justice system, which is time consuming, demanding and can drag on. She’s stuck with it despite the toll it’s taken on herself because she wanted to protect other young girls from Dwayne Aitken and others like him.” 

The girl urged others who find themselves in a similar situation to seek help. 

She said: “To any of those who have gone through or going through sexual assault, you’re not alone. It’s never too late to speak. 

“There are people who will listen to your story and help you fight for your justice and officers who will help you through the whole process. Don’t feel that you will be humiliated, embarrassed or not heard.” 

Elizabeth Staff, who has been a sexual offences and initial response officer in Hackney for 14 years, also paid testament to the young girl’s bravery. 

“I am so proud of the courage she has shown throughout the whole process and I know how difficult it has been for her, but I want her to know that if she carries that strength into adulthood she will be able to achieve anything,” she said. 

Anyone who is a victim of sexual assault or rape or has information about an offender, contact police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.