Newhaven man jailed for child sex offences

A Newhaven man who engaged in sexualised online communications with young girls has been sent to prison, police said.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 9:36 am
Updated Friday, 17th September 2021, 9:58 am
Mr Leadbitter, 55, has been sentenced two years and three months in prison, police said

Andrew Leadbitter, a 55-year-old service engineer from Hillcrest Road in Newhaven, was sentenced to two years and three months in prison at Lewes Crown Court on September 8.

He admitted to two offences attempted sexual communication with two separate girls and attempting to engage a third girl in sexual activity. He also admitted to three counts of making indecent images of children and one offence of possessing extreme pornographic images, police said.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police confirmed that Mr Leadbitter, alongside receiving a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, to restrict his access to children and digital devices until further court order, will also be a registered sex offender for ten years.

Gary Baker, a detective constable in the Sussex police paedophile online investigation team said Mr Leadbitter “systematically sought out opportunities for sexual conversation with young girls, and went so far as to arrange a meeting with one of them only to back out at the last moment.

“This activity came to our notice and he has now been brought to justice. We will continue to pursue such offenders in order to safeguard children.”