June 2018

Former Godalming mayor jailed for nine years for child sex offences

A former mayor and councillor has been jailed after pleading guilty to a number of child sexual offences on Monday (June 18). 

Simon Thornton, 46, has been jailed for nine years after he pleaded guilty to more than 20 sexual offences including one count each of rape of a girl under 13, assault of a girl under 13, possession of indecent photographs and videos.

Thornton, a former Godalming mayor and town councillor, previously pleaded guilty to 16 of the charges at the same court on Tuesday (May 8).

He changed his plea on six more counts to guilty at Guildford Crown Court on Monday morning.

The former councillor resigned from his role at Godalming Town Council citing “personal reasons” back in November 2017.

Thornton, of Abraham Way, Borden, Hampshire, will serve half his sentence in custody with the remainder on licence.

His not guilty pleas on voyeurism and paying for sexual services to a child will remain on file.

Seizing any opportunity to have sex with the child, Thornton used a secret code to signal he wanted sex.

He had sexual activity with the girl in his van, at a butchers shop and in public on a local common.

When arrested, he told police: “You know I am the Mayor of Godalming?”