Man jailed for sex offences against young girls in Newhaven

A man has been jailed for a series of sex offences against young girls in Newhaven.

Craig McAndrew, 34, previously from Newhaven, but subsequently of no fixed address and living in the Watford area, has been sentenced to 14 years and three months in prison, police said.

Craig McAndrew. Picture: Sussex Police

Craig McAndrew. Picture: Sussex Police

He appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Friday (November 8), having been found guilty after a trial in September of six offences of sexual assault on multiple occasions.

Four of the offences were committed against one of the girls, said police, for which he was given ten years, and two were committed against the other girl, for which he was given three years, both sentences to run consecutively.

In addition to those sentences, police said McAndrew will also serve a further one year on extended licence, and he was given a further three months, also to run consecutively, for absconding from court during his trial in September.

The court issued a warrant for him and following publicity he handed himself in at Watford Police Station on September 21. The trial continued and he was found guilty, in his absence, on Monday, September 16.

Detective Constable Julie Nightingale of the East Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said; “McAndrew systematically preyed on these two vulnerable girls for his own sexual gratification and the abuse only came to light last year when the first girl spoke about it to a family member.

“Both bravely supported our investigation throughout and gave evidence against McAndrew at the trial via videolink.

“If you or anyone you know is being abused in this way, do not suffer in silence. Contact us online or by calling 101, and we will arrange for your to talk to experienced investigators who can also help you to access further sources of advice and support.”

McAndrew will also be a registered sex offender for life, police said, and was given a sexual Harm prevention order (SHPO) to last indefinitely, severely restricting his access to anyone under 18.