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Former Crawley man sent to prison for indecently assaulting child

A former Crawley man has been sent to prison for indecently assaulting a child during the 1980s.

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A former Crawley man has been sent to prison for indecently assaulting a child during the 1980s.Clive Manning was found guilty at Lewes Crown Court on Monday January 7 of 12 counts of indecent assault which took place between the autumn of 1986 and spring of 1987.

Manning, 54, of Burnt Oak Lane, Newdigate, Surrey met the victim when he was 21 and she was just seven-years-old in Crawley. He began grooming her, which allowed him to engage in sexual activity with her for months before he moved out of the area.

More than 30 years later, the pair crossed paths by chance, and it was this meeting that prompted the victim to report the abuse to police for the first time in October 2017.

He was arrested and charged pleading not guilty to the allegations during his trial. However a jury found him guilty. He was sentenced to 15 years on Wednesday (January 16).

Detective Sergeant Martin Alchin-Gadd said:

“The victim was very brave to come forward after all this time. She has lived with the abuse she suffered as a child for a long time before deciding to come and speak to us. Now she has seen justice served.

“We will always take allegations of this nature seriously, regardless of how much time has passed since they happened, and a full investigation will take place. Wherever there is sufficient evidence, we will seek to bring offenders to justice.”

Crime

Teenager found guilty of murdering Arnold Potter named

A teenager who stabbed and killed a man in Maidenbower, Crawley has been found guilty of murder.

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Kai Gasson, 17, unemployed, from Crawley, admitted using a lock knife to wound the torso of Arnold Potter; however, he claimed he did so in self-defence.

Reporting restrictions were lifted to allow him to be named.

The 24-year-old victim sought help from a number of residents following the incident in Watson Close, Maidenbower, around 6.40pm on Thursday, November 15.

Shortly afterwards, he was found collapsed in the street. Despite the best efforts of paramedics and members of the public who commenced CPR, he was sadly declared dead at 7.17pm.

Gasson had chased Arnold (pictured above) up the street following the attack, but then made off from the scene and spent the night at a friend’s house, where he confessed to his crime and was encouraged to hand himself in to police the next day.

Man is stabbed to death in Maidenbower.

He was charged with murder and was remanded in custody ahead of a two-week trial which concluded at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday, April 18 where a jury found him guilty of murder.

It is alleged that in the events leading up to the attack, the defendant had been approached in the street by Arnold, who is reported to have held a knife to his throat and threatened to rob him of his drugs.

In response to this, Gasson withdrew a knife from his bag and used it to stab Arnold.

Following a search of his house, the defendant was further arrested and charged with possession of an offensive weapon (a knife). The jury also found him guilty of this offence as well as possession with intent to supply a class A drug (cocaine).

Photo: A replica of the knife used by Gasson

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Richardson, who led the investigation, said: “Kai Gasson has been found guilty of the murder of Arnold Potter and rightly so now faces a minimum of 15 years behind bars.

“The jury has rejected his claim that he acted in self-defence and agreed with the prosecution that he murdered Arnold Potter.

“Gasson was also been found guilty of possession of a knife and pleading guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine.

“Knife crime hasn’t just affected the two individuals involved; it has also affected their families, friends and the wider community and my thoughts our especially with Arnold’s family at this time.

“The key element to this tragic incident is the possession of a knife in a public place, which is an extremely serious offence.

“Had Gasson not been in possession of a knife that day, he would not have stabbed anyone and he would not now be facing a sentence.

“The devastation caused by knife crime is well documented, and Sussex Police – like every other force in the UK – will not tolerate it.

“We must continue to educate people – particularly young people – that carrying offensive weapons in public is a serious offence which ruins lives. It is a common misconception that some people feel safer in possession with a knife. This cannot be further from the truth; carrying a knife makes you far more likely to be involved in a crime, whether you are the victim or the offender.

“Our message is simple: lose the knife, not your life.”

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