A Crawley man has been sentenced for a series of sexual offences against a young girl over 17 years following a Sussex Police investigation.
Roger Robinson, 69, of Beachy Road, Crawley, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Monday, September 5, having been convicted at a trial in April of 14 counts of rape and four of indecent assault.
The offences were committed against the girl over many years from the 1990s onwards, from when she was a young child, into her adulthood.
Her Honour Judge Shani Barnes described Robinson’s offences as a “campaign of rape” that represented the “grossest breach of trust”. She described the former transport driver as a “predator” who enjoyed the power he had over the victim.
Robinson was sentenced to a 22-year sentence, including 18 years in prison and four years on an extended-licence period.
The judge added the four extra years on his licence after concluding he passed a legal test of “dangerousness” which is a sentencing option reserved for the most serious offenders.
It means Robinson is not entitled to be released half way through his custodial sentence, and instead will serve a minimum of two-thirds of the sentence in prison before he can be considered eligible for parole.
The judge also imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) which restricts Robinson’s access to children when he is released.
Detective Constable Dani Flude of the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said; “The victim in this case went through a traumatic experience over several years, as Robinson systematically groomed and exploited her for his own sexual gratification.
“His offending continued into adulthood. We sensitively investigated this case and arrested Robinson, and it became clear that he had assaulted her on many occasions over many years, both at his home and in vehicles parked in secluded areas in the Crawley area.
“I applaud her bravery in coming forward and supporting us through a lengthy investigation, and finally giving evidence in front of a jury.
“We recognise how traumatic this experience has been and we worked with her to ensure her access to advice and support from specialist officers and independent agencies.
“This case demonstrates once again that justice can be achieved many years after offences have taken place.”
If you or anyone you know has been subject to sexual offences you can contact the police at any time and arrange to talk in confidence to experienced investigators. For information on reporting sexual offences and the support that is available see the Sussex Police website.