June 2018

Hailsham man faces justice for sex offences against teenage girl

A Hailsham man is starting a four-and-a-half year prison sentence for sexual offences against a teenage girl, following an investigation by Sussex Police safeguarding detectives.

Paul Smith, 43, unemployed, of Howlett Drive, Hailsham, was found guilty and sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Wednesday 13 June, for two counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child.

The court heard that he lied to a vulnerable 15-year-old schoolgirl who he had met in the street, convincing her that he was 23.

He then groomed her into starting a sexual relationship with him over several weeks in the summer of 2016.

His offending came to light when police received anonymous information from a third party about what was happening to the girl.

Smith will also be a registered sex offender for life, and was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) severely restricting his access to young people for life.