Burgess Hill man sentenced following indecent assault

A man from Burgess Hill, who admitted indecently assaulting a young girl over 30 years ago, has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Thursday, 29th August 2013, 6:47 pm

A Sussex Police statement says that Graham Michael Aldis, 67, of St Peters Road, appeared at Lewes Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday 28 August). He pleaded guilty to one count of indecent assault and two other counts will remain on file.

The victim, who was just 13 at the time of the attack but is now in her 40s, came forward to police last year to speak of her ordeal, which Judge Scott-Gall described as a “most dreadful offence”.

The statement adds tnat in passing sentence of one year’s custody, suspended for two years, and ordering him to sign the Sex Offender Register for seven years, he added that this was a “bleak and unhappy case”.

“This offence,” he said, “occurred 32 years ago and the damage to the victim has been considerable; she has buried what happened deeply and has hated herself.”

Speaking directly to Aldis the Judge added: “You have lived a lie ever since. The victim’s statement sets out the grief and burden she has borne. This offending has had a profound impact, the disclosure a devastating effect. You bear the responsibility for that.”

DC Mark Butcher, from Crawley CID, investigated the offence. He said: “This crime has had a terrible effect on the victim for most of her life. Last year, she finally felt strong enough to come forward and tell police of her terrible ordeal. It was an incredibly brave thing to do and I hope that this sentence will go some way for her to get the justice and closure that she deserves.”

“This case highlights the fact that no matter how many years ago an offence happened, police will thoroughly investigate and bring offenders to justice.”