A man has been sentenced for multiple incidents of rape on a vulnerable girl under the age of 13 in Brighton.
Niall O’Sullivan groomed the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, by sending messages with her on a mobile phone app.
The 28-year-old travelled from Birmingham to Brighton in his car in order to meet her.
He was interrupted by police officers who found him committing the offence in a car park in Brighton Marina at 2pm on May 7.
At Lewes Crown Court on November 24, O’Sullivan admitted and was sentenced for seven counts of rape.
He was jailed for a total of nine years and four months. He will not be automatically released half way through his sentence, but must instead serve two thirds of the sentence before he can be considered for parole. The court also added an extra year to serve on licence following his time in prison.
O’Sullivan was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order indefinitely, to restrict his access to children, and will also be a registered sex offender for life.
The court was told how O’Sullivan, formerly a motor mechanic of an address in Birmingham, found the victim on the chat app in November 2022 and sent her messages.
He met her for the first time in April this year, and committed six rapes in his car, often driving to car parks in order to do so.
The victim revealed how O’Sullivan became angry with her when she tried to speak with or go out with other friends.
She received support from specially-trained officers and the Brighton Safeguarding Investigation Unit (SIU) led the inquiry into O’Sullivan.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Stewart Cameron from Brighton SIU said: “This was a highly distressing case which has had a lasting impact on the vulnerable young victim.
“O’Sullivan knew what he was doing was wrong, and had no choice but to plead guilty when confronted with the evidence.
“His behaviour was brazen, often taking the victim to public locations in daylight in order to commit the appalling offences.
“This case demonstrates our determination to catch offenders and to get justice for vulnerable victims. We are pleased that a dangerous sex offender is now off our streets.”
Victims of rape and serious sexual assault can find out more information about how police investigate these reports online here.
Further information and details of support services available for victims and people affected by rape and serious sexual assault is available on our website here.