Couple jailed for 24 years for abusing a young child
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A couple who sexually abused a young child have been jailed for a combined total of 24 years.
James Hedges, 36, and Lauren O’Hanlon, 28, assaulted the boy on a number of occasions at an address in Ash, Surrey, in November 2017.
Their offending came to light when police found images of the abuse on a phone belonging to Hedges.
Detective Constable Dan Lucas, investigating the case, said: “Hedges, who already had a Sexual Harm Prevention Order in place following previous convictions, was arrested on 6 March 2018 for possessing an iPhone. He is prohibited from having a phone with internet access as part of his order.
“On examination of his phone we found evidence of the appalling abuse that both Hedges and O’Hanlon had inflicted on this child.
“The phone also contained more than a thousand other indecent images of children.
“Hedges in particular is a prolific offender, having been convicted four times previously for making and distributing indecent images of children.
“Following the horrific discovery, Hedges was charged with five counts of sexual assault, as well as 10 counts relating to making and distributing indecent images. He was also charged with breaching his SHPO.
“O’Hanlon was charged with 5 counts of sexual assault as well as 6 counts relating to making and distributing indecent images.”
Both offenders denied the offences, but were found guilty by a jury following a two week trial at Winchester Crown Court in June this year.
The sentencing hearing took place at the same court on Friday 16 August.
Hedges, of Cumberland Avenue in Basingstoke, was sentenced to 16 years.
O’Hanlon, of no fixed address, was sentenced to eight years.
DC Lucas added: “This was a truly shocking case, and we would encourage anyone who has any information about a child being abused to contact police.”