A FORMER RAF airman who repeatedly raped a young girl he gave drugs to was jailed for 18 years.

Bernard Chapman, 64, appeared at Cardiff Crown Court to be sentenced for a string of offences.

After a trial, he was found guilty of four counts of rape of a child under 13, six counts of rape and four counts of sexual activity with a child.

Chapman, formerly of Monmouthshire, appeared via videolink.

Janet McDonald, prosecuting, said his crimes were made worse by the use of “coercion and threats” and the fact he gave his victim amyl nitrate, known as poppers, on several occasions before abusing her.

Judge Daniel Williams said: “When confronted your response was telling, far more telling than you ever appreciated.”

The court heard Chapman, now of Church Lane, Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire, swore and called his victim a “spiteful b****”.

Judge Williams continued: “You were a successful business man and you were careful to present yourself as a caring and kind man. But you were, and are, neither of those things.”

He added: “(Your victim) of course mistook your grooming for genuine kindness and love.

“It was neither of those things.”

“On a number of occasions you made her take amyl nitrate,” he continued.

He described Chapman as “brazen” in his offending.

Andrew Taylor, defending, described Chapman as “of hitherto good character.”

He added: “A long sentence for a 64-year-old is more arduous than for a man of young age, or even of middle age.”

Giving evidence in the trial earlier this month, the victim broke down in tears as she told the court about the sexual abuse she suffered.

The woman, who cannot be named, sobbed as she told a jury of six men and six women she did not tell anyone about the alleged abuse until Chapman’s arrest last year.

She told the court from behind a screen: “I never thought it would be the right time.”

Chapman was jailed for 18 years for ten counts of rape and eight years for four counts of sexual activity with a child, to run concurrently.