West Sussex man faces justice for sex offences against girl 40 years ago

Image: Creative Commons - Peter Facey

A West Sussex man who sexually assaulted and exploited a teenage girl nearly 40 years ago has now faced justice following a Sussex Police investigation.

Ian Garland, now 63, of Barwell Grove, Emsworth, was given a prison sentence totalling two years and eight months at Salisbury Crown Court on Wednesday 16 March, having previously being convicted of two counts of indecent assault and two counts of incitement to engage in sexual activity.

He will also be a registered sex offender for ten years.

Detective Constable Louise Clark of West Sussex CID said: "Garland was in his mid-twenties and living in Chichester when he met and befriended the girl, who lived nearby and was 11 years younger than him.

"Over a period of three years between 1982 and 1985 he clearly and systematically groomed her, taking advantage of her natural vulnerability for his own sexual gratification.

"He took her to isolated locations near the city where he assaulted on her on many occasions.

"Eventually his victim managed to break the relationship, but what happened to her has affected her life ever since. Three years ago she eventually came to us and we immediately began an investigation which resulted in Garland having no choice but to admit his terrible actions."

Friday 18 March is National Child Exploitation Awareness Day, when we pledge to continue to protect those most at risk and prevent harm by questioning behaviours, looking again and convicting perpetrators.

Identifying manipulative or coercive behaviour can be very difficult to spot but when the victim is a child and often cannot speak out – we must learn how to recognise their exploitation, question what we see and report our concerns.



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