A BRITISH Transport Police sergeant has been jailed for two years for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl.
Mick Defries, 58, of Barnham, appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Friday (January 10) after pleading guilty to two counts of sexually assaulting a girl under 13 at a hearing in December.
Sentencing, judge Michael Lawson QC, said his punishment should reflect the ‘public disgust’ at his actions.
The offences occurred in 2008, and the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, went to police in November 2013.
A statement from the victim said she felt ‘disgusted and violated’ at Defries actions, and that now she felt ‘safe again’.
Defries, who had been with the transport police for 10 years, was also given a sexual offences prevention order, banning him from contact with girls under 16.
Speaking today (Monday, January 13) following the result of the sentencing, Detective Inspector Lee Horner said: “We welcome this sentence, which sends a clear message that such offences, no matter when they occurred, will be investigated and the offenders brought to justice.
“Sussex Police will always take accusations of this nature very seriously, no matter how long ago they occurred, and anyone who comes forward can be confident that they will be dealt with sensitively, compassionately and confidentially.
“I would urge anyone who has been the victim of any form of sexual assault to contact Sussex Police on 101.”
A spokesman for the BTP said its professional standards department had assisted Sussex Police with its investigation.