November 2015

Former police detective with 30 year career at Sussex Police jailed for abusing young girl


CROUCHING as he shows Shaw Taylor round a murder scene for BBC’s Crimewatch, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas John Rees was a respected top police officer.

But Rees has now been exposed as a sex offender and has been sent to prison after he repeatedly sexually abused an 11-year-old girl over a 4-year period.

Rees was involved in some of the county’s highest profile murder cases in Sussex,

As he shows Taylor, known for his catchphrase telling Britain to ‘keep em peeled’ , round the scene of a grisly Crawley murder in 1986, Rees was hiding the secret of terrible acts he had committed more than a decade earlier.

A 30-year veteran of Sussex Police, he served as one of the county’s top detectives throughout the eighties.

Rees worked on the David Dillon murder case in which the 36-year-old father of three was ferociously beaten to death in Goffs Park, Crawley, and discovered by a postal worker.

He led the team of 40 officers under the name of Operation Cadden, drafted in from across the force as they tried to find the gang that killed the father of three.

He also worked on the unsolved case of a double murder at Rake on the Sussex-Hampshire border in which bricklayer Peter Thurgood, 47, and 49-year-old Lindey Benstead were shot at point blank range.

Rees then joined the Regional Crime Squad as a Detective Superintendent until his eventual retirement in five years later.

He started abusing his victim when she was 11 years old as he committed the offences in Haywards Heath over four years in the 1970s.

The victim did not come forward to Sussex Police about the abuse until 2012.

Following investigation by detectives Rees was brought to justice and jailed for two and a half years at Hove Crown Court.

He was charged with four offences of indecent assault and one offence of causing actual bodily harm.

Rees, 77, of Harting Road, Wick, was found guilty after a trial and he will be registered as a sex offender indefinitely.