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A man has been jailed for a total of five years for a range of recent and non-recent sexual offences.
Michael Wort aged 69, of no fixed abode, has been found guilty of three offences including one count of sexual assault of a girl under 13 (by touching) and two counts of indecent assault of a girl under 16.
These charges relate to incidents against three different children.
One offence took place against a child in 1971, three offences that took place against another child between 1985 and 1986 and two offences that took place against a further child between 2018 and 2019. All of these took place at addresses in the New Forest.
Wort was yesterday (15 March) sentenced at Southampton Crown Court to a total of five years in prison. In addition, he was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life and also given an indefinite Restraining Order against contacting his victims.
Detective Sergeant Oliver Battersby from Hampshire Constabulary’s Criminal Investigation Department said “We would like to commend the women who have shown incredible bravery and courage in coming forward. These are extremely difficult times for these women and it would not have been easy, both emotionally and physically, to have to re-live their ordeals from when they were younger.
“We know how hard it is to come forward and report these offences, whether they have taken place recently or in the past.
“We are committed to getting justice for victims and have specially trained officers to support them through the process.
“We would encourage anyone who has been a victim of child sexual abuse to contact police on 101 where you can speak with our specialist detectives in confidence.”
Two of the victims also came forward to say: “We would like to thank all the officers involved in the case and Hampshire Constabulary’s witness care team, for all their support through this most difficult time. They made the whole experience of coming forward so comforting, and while it was hard, we now have closure. We would recommend anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse to come forward.”
As a survivor of sexual abuse, you’re entitled to support whether you report the crime or not. You can access different types of support depending on how you’re feeling and what you decide to do next.
You can visit https://www.hampshire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/rsa/rape-and-sexual-assault/support-for-victims-of-rape-and-sexual-assault/ to see the support on offer.
Alternatively, the Ministry of Justice launched a new campaign this year to raise awareness of the support available for victims and survivors of sexual abuse. This major campaign aims to help survivors take that vital first step in accessing support.
The #ItStillMatters Campaign is assuring survivors of sexual abuse that it is never too late to get support. Information is given on National Helplines and also how to access support locally. https://www.safeline.org.uk/it-still-matters/