October 2013

Crawley paedophile who abused girls as young as six has sentence cut

Andrew Cilia

A PAEDOPHILE who abused girls as young as six has had his sentence slashed.

Andrew Cilia sexually assaulted three girls at his flat in Ivory Walk, Bewbush, and last Friday had his jail term reduced by the Court of Appeal.

The 50-year-old had been sentenced to 13 years at Brighton Crown Court in March, having previously pleaded guilty to 15 offences – but will now only serve a maximum of 11 years.

The offences committed by the computer engineer included six counts of sexual assault on children, five of making indecent photographs of children, three counts of taking indecent photographs of children and one of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

All crimes took place between 2004 and 2013, with the victims aged between 6 and 12.

On arrest, Cilia had a large collection of indecent images of children downloaded from the internet.

But Cilia successfully argued the lengthy prison term was too severe at a Court of Appeal hearing last Friday.

Lord Justice Davis, Justice Spencer and Judge Peter Rook QC reduced the sentence to 11 years.

When Cilia is released from prison, he will still have to register as a sex offender for life and he will also be the subject of a Sexual Offences Protection Order indefinitely, restricting his access to computers and children.

After sentencing, Detective Sergeant Martin Harmer, who was part of the team who brought Cilia to justice, explained how the offences came to light.

He said: “In the autumn of 2012, we received information that a computer at Cilia’s address was being used to make available to others images of child abuse via a peer-to-peer file-sharing site on the internet.

“When we executed a search warrant at the address in November of that year, Cilia admitted accessing indecent images and was arrested.

“However, it swiftly became clear from our inquiries that he had also been engaging in sexual activity with three young girls.

“We are glad to be able to intervene, stop his offending and ensure that the victims were able to receive proper support.”

March 2013

Andrew Cilia jailed for sex offences against young girls

A computer engineer who sexually assaulted young girls has been jailed for 13 years.

Andrew Cilia, 50, of Ivory Walk, Crawley, was sentenced when he appeared at Brighton Crown Court, having pleaded guilty at a previous hearing at Hove Crown Court.

He admitted five offences of making indecent photographs of children, three counts of taking indecent photographs of children, six counts of sexual assaults on children, and one of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

Cilia will be required to register a sex offender for life on discharge from prison, and will also be subject to a Sexual Offences Protection Order (SOPO) restricting his access to computer equipment and children, to last indefinitely.

The offences of assault, indecent activity, and the taking of indecent images of children related to girls aged between six and 12 years old.

They took place between 2004 and 2012.

Detective Sergeant Martin Harmer said; “In the autumn of 2012 we received information that a computer at Cilia’s address was being used to make available to others, images of child abuse via a peer-to-peer file sharing site on the internet.

“When we executed a search warrant at the address in November that year Cilia admitted accessing indecent images and was arrested.

“However it swiftly became clear from our enquiries that he had also been engaging in sexual activity with the three young girls who he had befriended as a family friend over a period of years.

“Cilia was charged and remanded in custody the day following his arrest.

“We are glad to be able to intervene, stop his offending, and ensure that the victims were able to receive proper support.

“Now Cilia has been brought to justice and we are also glad that at least his guilty pleas ensured that his victims did not have to give evidence in court, although it is to their great credit that they were ready to do so.”