November 2020

Paedophile jailed after manhunt which lasted 20 years

A paedophile who subjected two girls to horrific abuse has finally been jailed years after his victims bravely came forward and police forces united to bring him to justice.

Simon Porritt, now 70, abused his first victim – a Newcastle schoolgirl – in the 1980s before he moved away and started using a different name.

He moved to south Wales where he abused his second victim.

She came forward to report that she had been abused by Porritt in the 1990s.

He denied his guilt but last month at Cardiff Crown Court a jury found him guilty of three counts of gross indecency with a child and five counts of indecent assault of a female under 16.

On Monday he was back at the court where he was jailed for nine years and handed a sexual harm prevention order.

His victim from Newcastle came forward as an adult in 2000 to report the abuse and a manhunt was launched to find Porritt.

However he had already unofficially started going by a different name and the search went cold until a breakthrough in 2017.

Northumbria Police discovered Porritt had slipped up and registered a car in his own name to an address in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

This is when officers discovered he had been registering everything under his new partner’s name or using her second name – hence avoiding detection.

Northumbria Police detective Jemma Day led the investigation resulting in officers from Gloucestershire Police arresting Porritt on suspicion of gross indecency with a child.

In the meantime his second victim from his time living in south Wales had come forward and the link was made.

Det Day praised the bravery of the victims for helping bring Porritt to justice. She said: “First and foremost I want to commend the bravery of the victims, who were children when this abuse took place.

“While nothing can ever take away what has happened I hope the conviction and sentence of Simon Porritt will provide them with some comfort.

“I also hope it will encourage other victims of historic sexual assaults to come forward. We are here for you, we will listen, and we will support you – and we will do whatever we can to help ensure you see justice.”

She added: “Cowardly Simon Porritt left Newcastle in the 1990s and likely changed his name to avoid detection.

“However by working with colleagues in both Gloucester and south Wales I am glad we have been able to put him before the courts and he is now having to face the consequences of his horrendous crimes.”