Former councillor jailed for 17 years for sex offences

Jones was convicted in an eight day trial in August
Jones was convicted in an eight day trial in August

A former councillor has been jailed for 17 years for a string of historic sex offences against young girls involving an ‘abuse of power and control’.

Peter Hill Jones, 64, of Burndell Road in Yapton, appeared at Lewes Crown Court for sentencing this morning for sixteen sexual offences.

Peter Hill Jones, 64, of Burndell Road in Yapton, appeared at Lewes Crown Court for sentencing this morning for sixteen sexual offences.

He was convicted in an eight day trial in August of three counts of rape and nine counts of indecent assault against a girl in Yapton, as well as another four counts of indecent assault against a girl in Barnham.

Jones had pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Sentencing him, Judge Charles Kemp told Jones he had had ”absolutely no regard for the harm you were inflicting on either of those girls.”

Addressing his crimes against one of the victims, Judge Kemp said Jones “convinced her that what you were doing to her was normal she did not know any different.

“One can only hope that she now has some kind of closure.”

Referring to a pre-sentencing report, Judge Kemp said his offending showed ‘elements of planning’ and ‘and abuse of power and control’.

The report had concluded that Jones still posed a risk to female children.

Jones was jailed for 14 years for the three counts of rape and three years for the 13 indecent assaults on one victim, to be served at the same time.

He was also sentenced to three years imprisonment for the indecent assaults on the other victim, giving a total of 17 years imprisonment.

He will also be a registered sex offender for life, and was issued with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) severely restricting his access to children until further court notice.

Both victims were present in court, accompanied by family, and one read out a statement describing how Jones had told her she was ‘special’.

She said she had been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and that she suffers from depression and anxiety as a result of Jones’ crimes.

“I am slowly starting to believe in myself,” she added.

After the sentencing Judge Kemp praised her for her bravery for standing up and speaking out in open court.

Jones was a member of Yapton Parish Council from 2003 to 2011 before resigning.

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