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6 August 2014, 18:43
A man has been jailed for 10 years for raping a 12-year-old girl from Chichester.
John Astley, 34, of Wyndham Avenue, Bolton, pleaded guilty to rape when he appeared at Hove Crown Court on Monday (4 August). He also admitted causing a child to engage in pornography.
The court heard how in January this year, Astley met his victim online and over the next few weeks met her twice in Sunderland. Then on 8 March, he travelled from Bolton to West Sussex and met the girl very late at night.
He took her away from her home to a retail car park in Havant, Hampshire, where he raped her. As he was driving her home, the family had just discovered she was missing and had called the police.
Astley was arrested nearby. When officers examined his mobile phone they found indecent images of the victim stored on the device.
As well as his 10-year sentence, Astley was ordered to sign the sex offenders' register and be subject of an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order, which will restrict his access to children.
Detective Constable David Midgley said:
"This was a particularly nasty case, with Astley taking advantage of a young, vulnerable girl.
"The sentence imposed reflects the tough stance the justice system takes against people who commit offences against those that are vulnerable.
"Even when Astley is released from prison, the Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) imposed by the court will ensure he remains closely supervised."