Man jailed for non-recent child sex offences in Waterlooville
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A man has been sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for the sexual assault of a young girl nearly 20 years ago in Waterlooville.
John Robert West, 42, of Shetland Court, Worthing, appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court today (Monday 12 December) having been found guilty by a jury of child sex offences.
The victim came forward to police in 2019 to report that she had been sexually assaulted by West in 2005, when she was just 13-years-old. The assault was originally reported by the victim in 2005, however she withdrew her allegation through fear of having to go through the court process.
When officers received the report in 2019, an investigation was launched. West was interviewed and later charged with one count of sexual activity with a child and one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
He pleaded not guilty, however a jury found him guilty of both offences in August of this year.
Sentencing, His Honour Judge Shepherd noted how West had offered no apology to his victim and had shown no remorse or regret for the offences he had committed.
Detective Sergeant Lucy Gransden, of Hampshire Constabulary’s Child Abuse Investigation Team, said: “West’s actions were utterly appalling, he abused the trust of his young victim in the most abhorrent and worst possible way.
“He then did not have the courage to admit what he had done, instead forcing the lady involved to go through a trial.
“In stark contrast, the victim has shown incredible bravery throughout this investigation and trial, and I would like to commend and thank her for having the courage to tell us what happened to her when she was young. The victim did originally report the sexual assault when it first happened, however withdrew her allegation as she was understandably terrified to go through the court process at such a young age.
Detective Constable Charles Cox, who assisted the investigation, said: “We know how difficult reporting incidents of this nature can be, and we are so thankful that as an adult she found the confidence to come back to us. We hope that this sentence today shows that no matter when an incident took place, you will be listened to and we will investigate thoroughly and do everything in our power to bring those responsible to justice.”
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.