Crowborough man jailed for raping young girl
A Crowborough man who raped a young girl has been jailed, police said.
William Harris, also known as William Elliott, of Aldervale Cottages, Crowborough, was handed a 13-and-a-half year prison sentence, with an extended licence supervision requirement of a further three years, at Lewes Crown Court on Monday (January 20), said Sussex Police.
The 29-year-old handyman had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to raping the girl, said police, and with making the most serious category of indecent images, of the same girl.
Police said his pleas of not guilty to another count of rape and to one of sexual touching, both against the same girl, were accepted by the court.
Detective Constable David Peek of the East Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said; "Harris exploited this vulnerable and innocent young girl for his own sexual gratification, but his offending came to notice when she reported what was happening to a member of her family.
"We were immediately informed and Harris was arrested. His guilty pleas at least saved his victim having to give evidence at court.
"This case shows again that we will always take robust action on such reports, bringing the offenders to justice wherever possible and ensuring that victims, of whatever age have access to specialist and advice and support."
In response to the sentencing, an NSPCC spokesman said: “Harris subjected his victim to horrific abuse and she has shown incredible bravery in speaking out, ensuring these vile crimes were brought to light.
“Abuse ruins childhoods and its effects can last long into adulthood. We hope the young girl in this case has received the support needed to help her move forward with her life.
“Children can contact Childline 24/7 on 0800 1111 or at www.Childline.org.uk.
"Adults who want to report abuse or who are concerned for a child’s wellbeing can contact police or the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000.”