Families of survivors of child sex offences face abuser in court as he is sentenced
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The families of ‘brave’ and ‘courageous’ survivors of child sex abuse confronted their abuser in court today (Friday 22 April) as he was sentenced to 15 years and 10 months in prison for his crimes.
Alfie Morel, 24, formerly of Tidcombe Green in Havant, was given the sentence for his abuse of four children spanning several months across 2020 and 2021.
Morel first came to the attention of police on March 31 2021 when it was reported that he had been sending sexual messages via Instagram and Snapchat to a boy who was 12-years-old at the time and is now 13. It was also reported that Morel had sexually assaulted the boy and bribed him.
An investigation was launched by Hampshire Constabulary’s Child Abuse Investigation Team and Morel was arrested in the early hours of April 1 2021.
Three further victims were identified during the course of the investigation, a second 12-year-old boy, now 13, who reported that he had been sexually assaulted by Morel, and a 13-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl, now 14 and 15, who reported that he had sent them inappropriate messages via Instagram and Snapchat.
He was later charged with the rape of a child under the age of 13, attempted rape, two counts of sexual communication with a child, three counts of sexual assault of a child under 13, causing or inciting a child into sexual activity, and engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.
Morel pleaded not guilty to all offences aside from one count of sexual communication with the 14-year-old girl, and a trial began in December 2021. This was later adjourned due to juror illness and began again in January 2022.
On Friday 28 January the jury found him guilty of eight out of the nine charges he had pleaded not guilty to, with Morel being found not guilty of raping a child under the age of 13.
He will now spend 15years and 10 months in prison with an additional year on license. He will also be subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order on his release from prison.
On sentencing, Judge Richard Shepherd said that the victims in the case had shown exemplary conduct throughout the trial.
“Their bravery stands in stark contrast to your selfishness and your cowardice. You groomed and in some cases sexually abused them for the purposes of your own sexual gratification,” Judge Shepherd said.
“You lied, you manipulated, you coerced, you bribed and you cajoled all for your own sexual pleasure. They looked up to you and the betrayal is palpable.”
DC Jennifer Dalziel, who led the investigation, said: “The victims in this case have been incredibly courageous in both speaking to the police and giving evidence in court.
“The police and the CPS would not have been able to prosecute Morel had it not been for the bravery of the victims coming forward. We would like to thank them for speaking to us and trusting us to help them.
“I sincerely hope this sentence begins to bring some closure to those Morel affected, and that it helps others who have suffered similar abuse to find the confidence to come forward and speak to police knowing their voices will be heard.”
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.
Alternatively, anyone who is concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC helpline confidentially on 0808 800 5000 or email [email protected]. Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111.