Eastbourne man jailed for sexually abusing a young girl for five years

An Eastbourne man who sexually abused a young girl for five years has been given a 14-year prison sentence, according to police.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 4:17 pm

Police said John Gibbs, 50, of Shanklin Close was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday, November 11 as he was found guilty of two counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault on the child.

Gibbs, who was a cleaner, will be a registered sex offender for life and was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) to last until further court decision, prohibiting him from any contact with his victim or her family, and from living in any household where there are children under 16, according to police.

Detective constable Hugh Charles said, “Only when she eventually felt able to disclose to family members what had happened was this reported to us, and action was taken immediately, resulting in Gibbs’ arrest and three years later in his subsequent prosecution.”

John Gibbs has been sentenced to 14 years in prison. Picture from Sussex Police SUS-211125-160815001

The victim’s mother said, “This result was all my daughter wanted, for him to know he’d done wrong.

“For the first time in three years, she’s gone to the shops to buy sweets without having to look over her shoulder, and I hope sooner than later we will get to see a smile again.

“I also want to thank the police and the support services at Survivors Network for all their hard work and support they have given to me and my daughter.”

DC Charles added, “I also want to thank my colleagues, detective constables Steve Wormley, Lisa Wells and Laura Powell for all their work in helping to bring Gibbs to justice. This was a team effort on behalf of the victim.”