Eastbourne man jailed for ‘appalling catalogue’ of child sex offences

An Eastbourne man is starting a 17-year prison sentence for child sex offences described by the judge as ‘an appalling catalogue of entrenched and systematic abuse’.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 11:45 am

Simon Hutchinson, 53, unemployed, now of Hailsham Road, Stone Cross, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on April 22 after being convicted of 14 offences relating to the sexual abuse over many years of a young child, according to police.

Police said the man admitted four offences of rape, and seven of sexual assault, all on multiple occasions, as well as three offences of possessing indecent images of children.

Twelve years of the 17-year sentence will be spent in custody, and the other five years will be spent on extended prison license supervision while also being a registered sex offender for life, according to police.

Simon Hutchinson. SUS-210423-111030001
Simon Hutchinson. SUS-210423-111030001

Police said in March 2020 the victim disclosed the continuing abuse to a friend who immediately called the police and Hutchinson was arrested on the same day.

Due to the bravery and ongoing cooperation of the victim and her family, and following a detailed police investigation, Hutchinson pleaded guilty at a pre-trial hearing at Lewes Crown Court on March 3, according to police.

In sentencing Hutchinson, Judge Jeremy Gold said that his was ‘an appalling catalogue of entrenched and systematic abuse’.

Detective constable Tania Snashall, from the East Sussex safeguarding investigations unit, said, “This was a very disturbing case in which the defendant, then living in Eastbourne, clearly groomed the victim from a very young age.

“It is only due to her bravery of the victim in speaking out that the abuse was stopped and she is finally able to start living without abuse and fear.

“I hope that the sentence clearly demonstrates the seriousness of the offending by Mr Hutchinson and allows the victim and her family to start rebuilding their lives.”

See the Sussex Police website for information and advice on reporting offences against children and the support services available.