A man who subjected a girl then aged between 10 and 11 to a series of sexual assaults for more than a year in West Sussex sixteen years ago, has now faced justice with a seven year prison sentence.
Gavin Wright, 50, now of Norfolk Way, Uckfield, was sentenced at Chichester Crown Court on 2 August having been convicted of six sexual assaults and for possessing and distributing indecent images of children.
Detective Constable Ellen Jones of the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said: “Wright came to know the young and vulnerable girl whilst living in East Grinstead, gradually gained her confidence and then systematically abused her for his own sexual gratification.
“When we arrested Wright we found in his possession vile indecent images of children being abused.
“While we were investigating his sexual assaults, our colleagues in the force’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) were investigating his more recent though completely unrelated online activities. They had found that another sex offender was messaging him and sending these images who he then sent on to others.
“So he received four-and-a-half years for the sexual assaults and an additional two-and-a-half years for the online offending.
“He will also be a registered sex offender for life, and was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) to last until further notice, severely restricting his access to children and digital devices.
“In addition he was given a court Restraining Order prohibiting him from any contact with his victim.”
The victim who finally found the resolution and courage to tell the police, told the court: “My reason for reporting the incident was to expose him for what he is to the world – manipulative and dangerous – and ensure that what I went through is never allowed to be repeated and affect the life of any other young person. No person deserves to have any of this happen to them. He deserves to face the consequences of his actions now and in the future.”
If you or anyone you know has been victim of such offending, you can always report it to the police at any time, no matter how long after the events. Contact Sussex Police on 101 and arrange to speak in confidence to experienced investigators. Your report will be taken seriously and followed up to try to seek justice, and you will also be given access to independent sources of advice.
For further information see the Sussex Police website.