A child sex beast has been jailed after plying a girl with drink and abusing her.
Anthony Huntington plied his victim with cider and sexually assaulted her several times, Durham Crown Court heard.
The court heard the girl had a crush on Huntington, only realising what he did was wrong when she discussed it with a relative years later.
In a victim impact statement, she said: "I didn't know it was wrong at the time.
"Huntington gave me the attention I didn't get at home, so I didn't push him away.
"What happened has traumatised me, I'm disgusted that anyone could treat a child in the way he treated me.
"I have trouble sleeping, and have thoughts of ending my life."
The abuse came to light when the victim made recent contact with Huntington on Facebook.
"She asked him about what had happened years before," said prosecutor Sean Dodds. "Huntington replied that he never meant to hurt her.
"He said he loved her and wanted to protect her, but everything had become muddled.
"Huntington said if she was fully grown, it would have been different.
"He said he was disgusted with himself."
Huntington, 55, of Northumberland Place, Peterlee, admitted six charges of indecent assault.
Rod Hunt, defending, said in mitigation: "Mr Huntington has been able to provide glowing references from a number of family members.
"They speak of him as a hard working man, a good provider, a man with an enormous capacity to do good.
"He is wracked with remorse, and unlike many offenders of this type has not sought to deny responsibility and put his victim through the ordeal of giving evidence.
"Mr Huntington has been sacked from his job, but he is the sort of man who will be capable of and want to get employment after his release."
The Recorder, Mr Timothy Roberts QC, jailed Huntington for four years.
"You took advantage of this girl's crush on you," the recorder told Huntington. "You took this advantage over a period of time.
"It is accepted the sexual activity was consensual.
"But you would have known how corrupting your behaviour was, yet you persisted in it."
Huntington was made the subject of an order banning unsupervised contact with children for 10 years.
He must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.