A rapist has been handed a 30-year sentence for the "dreadful damage" he inflicted on his young victim.
David Dibell raped the girl and hit her so badly, she suffered internal injuries which required surgey.
Detectives have now praised the victim's bravery after 27-year-old Dibell was locked up for 24 years, with a six-year extended licence.
Detective Constable Claire Trewick, of Durham Constabulary, said: “This was a truly appalling crime and I am delighted at the lengthy sentence which has been handed down by the court.
"It will give David Dibell many years to think about the dreadful damage he has done to this young girl’s life.
“More importantly, I’d like to praise this brave young girl and her family for having the courage to stand up to this man and bring him to justice – hopefully they can now begin to get on with the long process of rebuilding their lives."
Dibell had denied the string of charges against him.
A jury found Dibell, now of Broadmeadows in Washington, guilty of six charges including rape of a child, sexual assault and GBH with intent following a trial at Durham Crown Court.
He was sentenced last month for the crimes which took police over a period of ten months.
As well as being jailed, Dibell was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely.
Police began an investigation after the girl attended hospital and the extent of her injuries and bruising alerted medical staff.
She later revealed what had happened to her to specialist support officers.
Det Con Trewick added: "I would like to say to anyone who is suffering sexual abuse in silence: you are not alone and there is hope: our officers are ready to listen and willing to help.
“I would urge anyone in that situation to have the same courage as this young girl and come forward to us with information and we will take action.”
Anyone who wishes to report sexual abuse should call Durham Constabulary’s Safeguarding teams on 101.