‘Predatory’ Copthorne paedophile sentenced to 15 years in prison
A Copthorne man has been jailed for 15 years after being convicted of sexually assaulting four girls over a period of 40 years.
Andrew Hocking, 57, of Gorse Close, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court today (Thursday May 28), having been convicted of seven counts of sexual assault the previous Friday (May 22).
Three of the counts, all of indecent assault, were related to assaults on a female child, where Hocking used to live in Avon and Somerset, in the 1970s.
He was found not guilty of another indecent assault offence against her.
Two of the counts, one of rape and one of indecent assault, against another female child, at an address where he lived in Hampshire, in the 1980s.
The other two indecent assault counts were each related to attacks on two other women, both of whom were girls at the time of the offences, while he lived in Hampshire.
He also pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to 11 offences of making indecent images of children between 2009 and 2011, and with one offence of possessing an extreme pornographic image in 2011.
Detective Constable Chris Smith of POLIT said; “We acknowledge the victims’ courage in being prepared to come to court and tell their stories. We also thank other witnesses who also attended and provided strong corroborative evidence. In addition the victims and witnesses conducted themselves during the trial with decency and restraint.
“Even though we are used to dealing with paedophiles, Hocking stands out as cold, calculating, predatory and ruthless. Despite the strong evidence against him he put the victims through the ordeal of having to recount their episodes of abuse. He has not shown any genuine remorse.”
Hocking was also served with a Risk of Sexual Harm Prevention Order severely restricting his access to computers and girls under 16. He will also be a registered sex offender for life.
The prosecution followed a proactive intelligence led investigation by the Paedophile On Line Investigation Team of Sussex Police.
During the investigation, which initially concerned the indecent images offences, detectives found records of the Avon and Somerset allegations, and further enquiries, together with media appeals, led to the three Hampshire victims coming forward.
Man pleads guilty to possessing stash of child abuse images and animal porn
A MAN has admitted possessing more than 2,000 images of child abuse images along with dozens of photographs of people carrying out sex acts on animals.
Andrew Hocking appeared at Lewes Crown Court last Friday to enter pleas to six charges of having indecent photos of children and a further count of being in possession of material depicting sexual acts between humans and animals.
The 57-year-old stood in the dock wearing a grey suit and had his head bowed as he spoke to give a plea to each charge.
Hocking pleaded guilty to all the charges.
Sussex Police’s paedophile online investigation team (POLIT) carried out an “intelligence-led” probe into Hocking.
Officers discovered he was in possession of 2,115 indecent and extreme pornographic images in total on February 10, 2011.
These included 2,084 child porn pictures ranging from level one to seven.
The higher the category of image the more serious the offence.
Hocking, who at the time was living at Gorse Close, in Copthorne, admitted possessing 1,483 indecent photos of children categorised as level one.
He had 227 level two photographs, 105 at level three and 244 at level four.
Hocking pleaded guilty to having 11 level five images, which are categorised as portraying children in erotic positions.
He was also in possession of 14 photographs at level seven, which depict children in explicit sexual activity.
Sussex Police have said the images were made between 1997 and 2001 and that they do not believe any of the children photographed are from the local area.
Hocking also pleaded guilty to having 31 “extreme pornographic” images which showed people performing acts of intercourse and oral sex with animals which were “grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an offensive character”.
Judge Guy Anthony adjourned the hearing until May at the earliest for Hocking to be sentenced.
He said: “You have pleaded guilty to a number of serious offences.
“In due course you will be sentenced for these matters and I warn you to expect an immediate custodial sentence.”
Hocking was released on conditional bail until he next appears in court.
Among the strict conditions of his bail, Hocking has had to surrender his passport due to concerns he could attempt to leave the country.
Hocking, who has recently been living in Dorset, has also been ordered to sleep at his home address every night of the week