July 2017

Man jailed for raping girl in Littlehampton

A man has been jailed for 13 years for the rape of a 12-year-old girl in Littlehampton and two other attacks on her.

James ‘Jamie’ Needham (23) was convicted of one charge of rape, one of sexual assault and one of assaulting a child under the age of 13, following a trial at Lewes Crown Court.

Each attack was progressively more serious than the last and in the final assault, he raped her at knifepoint.

He was jailed for 13 years for the rape and given a five year sentence for the other two attacks, which will run concurrently.

Lorna Lee from the CPS said: “The defendant consistently denied the charges against him, which related to a young and vulnerable child.

“Along with her compelling account, we were able to rely on evidence of Facebook contact between them which demonstrated the defendant’s escalating sexual interest in her.  His additional use of emojis in those messages, illustrates how they tell a story just as well as words. 

“Having heard all the evidence, the jury took less than three hours to convict Needham of all offences.  

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the young witness for her courage at coming forward and in giving evidence in this difficult case.”