A “despicable” paedophile who groomed, manipulated and sexually abused a young girl has been jailed.

Anthony Maina, of Allen Road, Stoke Newington, was found guilty of 17 offences on May 18, namely seven counts of rape, eight counts of assault by penetration and two counts of sexual activity with a child.

The 52-year-old was exploited a position of trust to groom her and commit “the vilest sexual offences”, the Metropolitan Police said.

He would regularly buy her gifts, clothing, food and mobile phones to attempt to gain her trust.

Maina would also try to normalise the abuse by referring to her as “his girl” and his “best friend in the universe”.

Hackney Gazette: Anthony Maina was charged with seven counts of rapes along with other chargesAnthony Maina was charged with seven counts of rapes along with other charges (Image: Met Police)

He would ask the survivor to come to his property under false pretences, such as to receive a parcel or let some workmen in, and would abuse her. When she began to challenge this, he would suggest to her other family members she was being unhelpful to force her to come to his property.

If she hadn’t contacted him for any longer than a day, he would accuse her of neglecting him, and if she met up with anyone her age he would claim that they were a “bad influence” on her.

However his actual aim was to isolate her loved ones and prevent her from confiding in anyone about the abuse.

The survivor went to police in December 2018 to report the crimes and measures were put in place to ensure she was safe during the investigation.

Detective Constable Stefan Wimmer of Central North Command Unit, described the case as “some of the most vile and despicable psychological manipulation and sexual abuse” which he has encountered.

He added: “It is sickening to think that individuals like Maina exist.”

DC Wimmer continued: “As is consistent with his character, Maina did not show a flicker of remorse over the course of the investigation, and tried to claim in interview the survivor was merely a ‘troublemaker’ in an attempt to discredit her.

“The survivor, on the other hand, has shown an immense amount of patience, courage and resolve since the moment she came to police and I have nothing but admiration for her. It is because of her bravery in coming forward and assisting police that Maina is behind bars.”

Maina was sentenced to 28 years’ imprisonment at Wood Green Crown Court on Thursday (September 21).

The survivor spoke out after the sentencing and said: “To all survivors that are going through any type of abuse, I would encourage you to come forward because I didn’t think that I’d get this outcome, but I did, and now that he’s sentenced he’s going to prison for many years, and I won’t have to endure him anymore.

“You shouldn’t feel worried, you just need to be patient and strong. It will be a weight off your shoulders."