Page last updated at 13:25 GMT, Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Solicitor jailed for raping child

A solicitor who a judge said had a "sparkling educational career" has been jailed for sex attacks against a girl.

Michael Hynes, 46, from Salhouse in Norfolk, was found guilty in September of raping and sexually assaulting the girl while she was aged from 11 to 14.

Judge Paul Downes, sitting at Norwich Crown Court, sentenced Hynes to 10-and-a-half years in prison.

Judge Downes said he did not consider Hynes, of Upper Street in Salhouse, to be a danger to anyone else.

Jurors heard the abuse began with touching but became more serious as the girl grew older.

'Cocaine use'

The youngster's ordeal only became known after she was admitted to the Priory clinic suffering from depression, the court heard.

During the trial the court heard from prosecutor Graham Parkins QC that Hynes had groomed the girl and plied her with drugs.

He had also admitted he was a heavy user of cocaine.

Hynes claimed the accusations had been made out of spite and the victim had got her ideas from a "trashy novel".

He had been a top international solicitor working for renowned law firms in London before moving to Norfolk, the court heard.

Stephen Harvey QC, representing Hynes, said his client maintained his innocence.



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