A paedophile postman who repeatedly sexually assaulted a child over a number of years in Greater Manchester has been jailed for five years.

A judge at Manchester's Minshull Crown Court caged Alec Heaps after he subjected a child to years of "depraved" abuse leaving her "traumatised" for life.

The 53-year-old was found guilty of five offences of sexual assault of a child under 13 and one of sexual assault of a child.

Heaps had pleaded his innocence thus subjecting his victim to reliving her sexual abuse during the trial.

The jury found the Stockport man unanimously guilty on Monday (27 November) before his family waved and blew kisses from the public gallery as he was removed from the court, the Manchester Evening News (MEN) reported.

The court heard that the victim, who has not been named for legal reasons, had kept the sexual abuse secret for many years until she told a counsellor, and then her mother.

For the Crown, John Savage said that the victim had struggled with her academic studies and relied on anti-depressants.

"Her self-confidence has been impacted and she has low self-esteem," Savage said according to the MEN.

Heaps, of Eden Avenue, High Lane, has been placed on the placed on the sexual offenders' register for life by judge Recorder Paul Reid QC.

The recorder told Heaps as he was sentenced: "It's plain that your victim has suffered psychological harm for a number of years as a result of your behaviour."

He added: "You continue to deny the offences of which you have been convicted and you present a high risk of serious harm to female children."

Defending Heaps, Kay Driver described her client as a "highly valued" family man, and that he had lost his good name and his employment as a result of his conviction.