November 2015

Lewes man jailed for sex offences against ‘vulnerable’ young girl

A 21-year-old Lewes man has been jailed for sexual offences against a girl under the age of 16.

Timothy Dumbrell, a computer operator of Caburn Crescent, was sentenced to three years imprisonment when he appeared at Hove Crown Court on Friday (November 13).

At a previous hearing, he pleaded guilty to five offences of causing or inciting a girl to engage in sexual activity between 2013 and 2014. Three of the offences involved contact offending and two involved online offending.

He was also required to be a registered sex offender for life and was issued by the court with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) severely restricting his access to children.

The offences took place when Dumbrell was a voluntary youth worker at St Johns CofE church, in Southover, and met the girl, who attended events there.

Detective Sergeant Graeme Pawson of the East Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said: “The victim in this case was especially vulnerable and Dumbrell used his position as a leader to groom and sexually assault her, which has had a devastating effect on her life. With good fortune and the support of her family we hope she will now be able to move forward with her life”

The victim’s mother said: “Timothy Dumbrell abused a position of trust to target a vulnerable girl with the express intention of emotionally manipulating her into having sex with him.

“The ongoing repercussions of his actions have been overwhelming for my daughter, who has had to be hospitalised twice in the last 12 months for self harming and suicidal thoughts.

“I would like to express our gratitude to the police for their diligent and sensitive handling of this case throughout and I would urge any young person and their families to have the confidence to go to the police if something like this ever happens to them.

“We are very pleased with the sentence. The defence barrister tried to emphasise the guilty plea as a heroic act of kindness toward my daughter, I disagree. Despite an unarguable pile of hard evidence against him, he continued to deny his guilt for 18 months.

“I am certain the final guilty plea was only made in order to benefit from a one third sentence reduction. I hope that during his time in prison he will finally confront the harm he has caused to his victim.”