The jail sentence of an Ipswich man found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting a schoolgirl has been extended by four years.

Christopher Steele now faces a jail sentence of 19 years, with an extended licence period of one year for the charges.

The 36-year-old faced two offences of rape, assault of a child under 13 by penetration and five offences of sexual assault.

Steele was originally convicted after a trial in July last year and jailed for 15 years with a one-year extended licence period.

The case was referred under the unduly lenient sentence scheme and was heard at the Court of Appeal on December 8.

Ipswich Star: The 36-year-old was jailed at Ipswich Crown CourtThe 36-year-old was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court (Image: Suffolk police)

The scheme allows anyone to ask for crown court sentences to be reviewed by the Attorney General's Office if they believe a sentence is too lenient.

A statement read to Ipswich Crown Court from the victim last year accused Steele, of Andros Close, Ipswich, of making her feel dirty and treating her “like a piece of meat”.

She said that what Steele did to her had affected her relationships and had resulted in her having angry outbursts and self-harming.

In addition to being jailed Steele, who was told he will have to serve two thirds of his prison sentence, was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for life and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for the same period. 

He was also banned from contacting the victim for life.

Steele first denied the charges before Ipswich Crown Court in March 2021 before being released on conditional bail.

Sentencing him Judge Nicola Talbot-Hadley said that Steele, who still maintained his innocence, had taken the victim on shopping trips and had “showered her with gifts”.