October 2015

BURGESS Hill man has gone to prison for sexual offences against a teenage girl


Matthew Berry, a sales representative of Meadow Lane, appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Friday (2 October) having previously pleaded guilty to:

  • Child grooming

  • Child abduction

  • Penetrative sexual activity with a 14-year old girl known

21-Year-old Berry was sentenced to three years and seven months in jail and was given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) which prohibits him from any unsupervised access with children under 16.

He was also prohibited from any contact with the child victim until she is 18 years old.

Berry will also be on the sex offenders register for an indefinite period.

The prosecution, authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service, followed an investigation by child protection detectives in West Sussex.

Detective Constable John Hord of the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigation Unit said: “Berry systematically groomed this vulnerable child over a prolonged period of time which eventually led to their relationship becoming sexual.

“He failed to listen to a warning given to him by the police and continued this relationship with the girl, despite being served with a written warning and being arrested and given conditions not to see her.

“His actions have had a devastating effect on the her family life and will continue to effect this family into the future.

“This sentence and the SHPO should reinforce the message to Berry that his behaviour will not be tolerated and that children will always be be protected so they that can develop and grow without unwanted attention.”