The victim of a paedophile told police about the sexual abuse at the hands of her attacker 30 years ago, but was not believed.
Royal, 67, was jailed for six years and eight months after pleading guilty to historic sexual offences at Burnley Crown Court this week.
Prosecutor Nick Galinski said the victim, who was a child at the time of the offences, was scared and ‘shaking like a leaf’ during the shocking incidents.
Royal told her it was a ‘private secret’ and she would get in trouble if she told anyone about the abuse, the barrister added.
Mr Galinski said the victim has had difficulties throughout her life as a result of the abuse, suffers from depression and has attempted suicide.
He added: “She suffered from flashbacks and sleepless nights, feeling degraded and dirty as a result of what happened to her.”
Mr Galinski said the victim was medically examined at the time after telling the police about her ordeal.
The defendant was interviewed but the victim was not believed and no charges were made against him. When the victim complained to police again in May this year, the defendant made some admissions during a police interview and later admitted the offences.
Royal, now of Newstead, Rochdale, pleaded guilty to indecent assault and indecency with a child.
Jeremy Lasker, defending, asked for credit for Royal’s guilty plea. He said the defendant, who suffers from angina and spinal problems, is a lonely man with nothing in his life to look forward to.
Recorder Suzanne Goddard QC said the effects on the complainant have lasted throughout her life.
She said: “She reported it to the police but, very tragically, at that stage, she was not believed.
“In May 2013 she decided she would report this matter to the police feeling there would be a different approach to the investigation now.”
Royal was also handed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order prohibiting him from any unsupervised contact with children until further notice and ordered to sign the sex offenders register.