‘Predatory’ Copthorne paedophile sentenced to 15 years in prison

Andrew Hocking
Andrew Hocking

A Copthorne man has been jailed for 15 years after being convicted of sexually assaulting four girls over a period of 40 years.

Andrew Hocking, 57, of Gorse Close, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court today (Thursday May 28), having been convicted of seven counts of sexual assault the previous Friday (May 22).

Three of the counts, all of indecent assault, were related to assaults on a girl in Avon and Somerset in the 1970s. He was found not guilty of another indecent assault offence against her.

Two further counts, one of rape and one of indecent assault, were related to a girl in Hampshire in the 1980s.

The other two indecent assault counts were each related to attacks on two girls in Hampshire.

He also pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to 11 offences of making indecent images of children between 2009 and 2011, and with one offence of possessing an extreme pornographic image in 2011.

Detective Constable Chris Smith of POLIT said; “We acknowledge the victims’ courage in being prepared to come to court and tell their stories. We also thank other witnesses who also attended and provided strong corroborative evidence. In addition the victims and witnesses conducted themselves during the trial with decency and restraint.

“Even though we are used to dealing with paedophiles, Hocking stands out as cold, calculating, predatory and ruthless. Despite the strong evidence against him he put the victims through the ordeal of having to recount their episodes of abuse. He has not shown any genuine remorse.”

Hocking was also served with a Risk of Sexual Harm Prevention Order severely restricting his access to computers and girls under 16. He will also be a registered sex offender for life.

The prosecution followed a proactive intelligence led investigation by the Paedophile On Line Investigation Team of Sussex Police.

During the investigation, which initially concerned the indecent images offences, detectives found records of the Avon and Somerset allegations, and further enquiries, together with media appeals, led to the three Hampshire victims coming forward.

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