Barnham man sent to prison for ‘appalling’ crimes

Chichester Crown Court''Picture by Louise Adams C140033-3 Chichester Crown Court ENGSUS00120140701151442
Chichester Crown Court''Picture by Louise Adams C140033-3 Chichester Crown Court ENGSUS00120140701151442
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A BARNHAM man who carried out ‘wicked and depraved’ abuse has been jailed for 16 years for sexually assaulting two young children.

Sean Armstrong, 48, of Market Close, was handed down the term at Chichester Crown Court on Friday after he previously pleaded guilty to 12 counts which included raping a child, sexual assault, engaging a child in sexual activity and making indecent images of a child.

Sean Armstrong, 48, of Market Close, Barnham SUS-141126-165628001

Sean Armstrong, 48, of Market Close, Barnham SUS-141126-165628001

Judge Christopher Parker QC said: “You have carried out some wicked and depraved activities and you assaulted such small helpless victims in a way that is impossible for any normal person to understand.

“You have caused an impossible trauma to the parents.

“You carried out appalling cases of sexual abuse on a tiny child.”

Judge Parker said some of the sentences he passed would also be subject to a period of extended licence and he also ordered a life-long sexual prevention order be put in place.

The court heard Armstrong was arrested in July after it was discovered between September, 2007, and June, 2009, he had sexually abused a child.

These offences had only come to light after Armstrong was arrested in December of last year for offences against another child.

Mr Gardiner, prosecuting, said Armstrong’s crimes had a ‘devastating impact’ on the victims.

“I would refer your honour to the victim impact statements.

“I do not think it is appropriate to go through those in open court but I think from reading them you will see it is safe to say these crimes have had a devastating impact on the victims’ families.”

Miss Shields, defending, told the court Armstrong, who she said was of previous good character, was ‘racked with guilt’.

She said: “He is also wishing to apologise through me to the families of these children for the appalling wrong that he has done them.

“He does accept these crimes are sickening and deeply concerning and will have inevitably left deep scars on the victims.

“By pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity available to him he has at least spared the families the trauma of a full criminal trial.”

Miss Shields added that Armstrong had broken down and was unable to give any reason for his actions.