Bexhill's Brian Matthews jailed for 19 years over child sex offences
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A Bexhill man who repeatedly sexually abused a young girl over several years has been jailed for 19 years.
Brian Matthews, 63, of London Road in Bexhill, first started sexually assaulting his victim when she was nine years old and continued to abuse her until her late teens.
Alongside the ongoing sexual abuse – which included multiple incidents of rape – Matthews subjected his victim to emotional and psychological abuse in a bid to normalise his behaviour and control her actions.
An investigation was launched after police first received the reports and, while his victim received specialist support from officers, Matthews was arrested.
He was charged with:
4 x Assault on a girl under 13 by touching
4 x Assault on a female over 13 with penetration
Rape of a girl aged 13 to 15
2 x Rape of a female aged 16 or over
2 x Engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child
3 x Sexual assault on a female
Cruelty to a person under 16
Engaging in coercive and controlling behaviour
Matthews denied all charges, but was found guilty by a jury on all counts except one charge of rape of a female aged over 16, and the Judge discharged the jury from reaching a verdict on the charge of engaging in coercive and controlling behaviour.
At Lewes Crown Court on April 28, Matthews was sentenced to 19 years in jail, including one year on extended licence.
He was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) forbidding any contact with the victim or any child under 18 without consent of a parent/guardian and social services, or if inadvertent and not reasonably avoidable.
He is also prohibited from possessing any device capable of storing or accessing digital images, unless access is provided for inspection by a police officer or police employee.
Detective Liz Brunt said: “Brian Matthews’ depraved, horrific abuse robbed his young victim of her childhood and she will have to live with the effects for the rest of her life.
“I would like to thank her for the incredible bravery she has shown not only in reporting these crimes initially, but in supporting our investigation and helping to put a dangerous predator behind bars.
“Without her courage and determination, this simply would not have been possible.
“Hopefully this sentence will offer some measure of comfort to her and stop Matthews from causing further harm to young people.”
For information on reporting sexual offences and the support that is available, see the Sussex Police website.