Man sentenced over sex abuse of young girls in St Leonards
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An East Sussex man is starting a 18-year prison sentence for child sex offences after an investigation by safeguarding detectives.
John Martin Davis, 33, unemployed, and currently of no fixed address, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Monday 17 May after being convicted of 17 offences relating to the sexual abuse in St Leonards over a two-year period of two girls known to him who were both under 10 when the abuse first began.
He was convicted of four counts of rape, two of attempted rape, eight counts of sexual assault, two of engaging in sexual activity and one of causing a child to watch images of sexual activity.
Davis will spend 18 years of his sentence in custody, and a further seven years will be spent on extended prison licence supervision.
He will also be a registered sex offender for life.
Davis was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) severely restricting his access to children and digital communication devices until further court order.
Thanks to the bravery and cooperation of the victims and following a detailed police investigation, Davis was unanimously found guilty by the jury of all offences on Friday 27 November after a trial lasting three-weeks.
Detective Constable Nicola Westgate from the East Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said; “I would like to pass my sincere gratitude to all of those involved in the trial. You made a real difference and helped to secure the conviction of a very dangerous man.
"The two young victims gave their evidence by video recording, although they still had to face cross-examination, and the court also afforded them other measures to help minimise the impact of the experience for them.
"The sentencing clearly demonstrates the seriousness of the offending by Davis and we hope that it will give the victims a sense of closure and enable them to carry on with rebuilding their lives."
For information and advice on reporting offences against children and the support services available, see the Sussex Police website