March 22, 2012

Ashford lorry driver jailed for 24 years after series of sex offences

A long distance lorry driver from Ashford has been sentenced to a total of 24 years in prison for a string of sexual offences with young girls.

Trevor Carter, 55, of Church Lane, Shadoxhurst, was sentenced today at Hove Crown Court today, having been convicted, after an eight-day trial, of 21 offences.

The crimes were carried out in Kent and Sussex between seven and 10 years ago.

Carter was also served with a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) for life prohibiting him from any future contact with children under-16, and from preventing police access to any computer to which he has access. He will also be required to register as a sex offender for life on his release.

Carter committed the sexual offences against three girls in Kent, between 2002 and 2003. He was found guilty of two counts of rape and four indecent assaults on a girl between 10 and 12, seven indecent assaults and one count of indecency with another girl between nine and 11 and one count of indecent assault on a third girl who was just nine years old. All the victims were from Ashford.

He was also found guilty of committing three indecent assaults, one assault by penetration, two counts of causing and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence, against a girl aged between nine and 10 in Crawley between 2005 and 2006. Those offences were reported to police in 2010 and Carter was circulated as wanted.

Carter’s crimes in Kent came to light when one of the Kent victims, now an adult, reported the offences against her to Kent police last year. Kent specialist child protection detectives then uncovered the other crimes there and liaised with colleagues in Sussex where Carter was already wanted for the Crawley offences.

Kent officers arrested Carter at his home in August last year.

The jury heard that Carter had a previous conviction in 1983 in the name of Trevor Cripps for similar indecent assaults on a 7-year-old girl in Surrey.

Detective Constable Dani Flude of Sussex Police said: “This was a good example of co-operation between police forces. As soon as the Kent allegations came to light we were informed and we worked together, and with the Crown Prosecution Service, to ensure that the full extent of Carter’s appalling offending was put before the court. It is clear that over many years he had systematically groomed young girls by ingratiating himself with their families and working himself into a position of trust which enabled him to achieve the privacy he craved in which to assault these helpless young girls.

“Detective Constable Maria Cutter of Kent Police and I worked closely on this enquiry and we are both glad to see that justice has been done for these young victims, all of whom had to suffer the stress of giving evidence in court. We pay tribute to their courage in doing so.

“This sentencing sends out a message that allegations like this will always be treated seriously by police, however long ago the period to which they relate. We will give every possible support to victims who come forward, and that includes support to see them through the criminal justice process.”