Man’s 20-year sentence for assaults on women in Haywards Heath area

Man sentenced.
Man sentenced.

A West Sussex man has been sentenced to a total of 20 years imprisonment for a series of sexual offences against three women, mostly in the Haywards Heath area.

A Sussex Police statement says that Jason Burgess, 42, unemployed, of no fixed address, appeared for sentencing at Lewes Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday April 1), having been found guilty the previous day of all 10 offences with which he had been charged.

These were four rapes, one attempted rape, one sexual assault, one common assault, one assault by beating, one indecent exposure and one sexual assault by penetration. The offences, involved three women aged from their mid-20s to early fifties.

One of the rapes took place in Petworth, but all other offences happened in the Haywards Heath area.

Detective Constable Steve Shaw said: “Burgess wormed his way successively into the womens’ lives over a period of time and then abused the trust they had placed in him. He then moved on to his next victim when it suited him. He showed all the traits of a sexual predator.

“All the victims gave evidence in court, and this clearly helped ensure that no other women would fall victim to Burgess in the foreseeable future.

“This case illustrates the way in which women who come forward and talk to us will be believed and treated with respect, and supported through what is a difficult process for victims. We will always seek to achieve justice for them.”