Former West Sussex cadet leader jailed for non-recent sexual offences

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A former cadets leader has been jailed for non-recent sexual offences against two young girls.

Simon Taplin was sentenced to four and a half years’ imprisonment when he appeared before Portsmouth Crown Court on June 3, police said.

He had previously been found guilty of two counts of indecently assaulting a girl under the age of 16, on 20 February at the same court.

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Taplin, 64, of Springfied Close in Lavant, was charged with five further counts of sexual assault of a girl under the age of 16 and was found not guilty by the jury.

Simon Taplin was sentenced to four and a half years’ imprisonment when he appeared before Portsmouth Crown Court on June 3. He had previously been found guilty of two counts of indecently assaulting a girl under the age of 16, on 20 February at the same court. Picture: Sussex PoliceSimon Taplin was sentenced to four and a half years’ imprisonment when he appeared before Portsmouth Crown Court on June 3. He had previously been found guilty of two counts of indecently assaulting a girl under the age of 16, on 20 February at the same court. Picture: Sussex Police
Simon Taplin was sentenced to four and a half years’ imprisonment when he appeared before Portsmouth Crown Court on June 3. He had previously been found guilty of two counts of indecently assaulting a girl under the age of 16, on 20 February at the same court. Picture: Sussex Police

An investigation was launched in September 2020, when a third-party report came into Sussex Police that a woman had been sexually abused by Taplin as a child.

His victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, met him at the cadets, with him using his position of power to abuse her.

As part of the investigation, another woman bravely came forward and stated she was abused at around the same time by Taplin.

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When she was a teenager, it was heard that she was abused by Taplin where he used his seniority to take advantage and sexually assault her during a cadet event.

In addition to the custodial sentence, Taplin was also put on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

Detective Constable Jason Berney, of the Safeguarding Investigations Unit said: “I would like to express my gratitude for the bravery of the victims who came forward and gave evidence to police and in court.

“This bravery has secured Taplin’s sentence and it means a man who abused his power to take advantage of girls is now behind bars.

“I hope that any victims of sexual abuse are encouraged to come forward to report any crime or wrongdoing. We will investigate, no matter how long ago it was.”