Sex offender jailed for four years

Stephen Agate, photo courtesy of Sussex Police
Stephen Agate, photo courtesy of Sussex Police

A man from Burgess Hill was jailed for four years after pleading guilty to sex offences against an underage girl.

Stephen Agate, 34, a factory worker, of London Road, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday July 2.

At a previous hearing, he had pleaded guilty to causing an underage girl to engage in sexual activity, and to sexual activity with the same girl.

He pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual assault, and the charge was left to lie on the court file

Agate was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, severely restricting his access to children, and will be a registered sex offender for life.

Sentencing, Judge David Rennie said that Agate’s crimes ‘had a bad impact on that little girl’.

Detective Constable Dani Flude, of the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit, said Agate had ‘exploited the natural innocence and vulnerability of a young child’ for his own sexual gratification.

“His guilty pleas, and the court’s agreement not to proceed with the other offences, has achieved justice for the victim without her having to give evidence - even though special measures would have been provided by the court to help her through that process.”

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