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Northgate man sentenced to 18 years for sexual assaults on 10-year-old girl

A Crawley man has been given an 18-year-prison sentence for sexual assaults on a young girl.

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John Cole, 33, a mechanic, of Oak Way, Crawley, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Friday (11 October) having been found guilty after a five-day trial, of two offences of rape and four offences of engaging in sexual activity, against the 10-year-old girl between 2017 and 2018.

He will also be a registered sex offender for life.

Detective Constable Kirstie Prentice of the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said;

“Cole came to know the young girl over a period of time and systematically sexually abused her, taking advantage of her age and natural vulnerability for his own sexual gratification, telling her her that if she told anyone they would both go to prison.

“Only when her mother found a note hidden in a backpack in the girl’s bedroom revealing she had been assaulted by him did the offending come to light, and police were informed.

“She has very bravely supported the investigation throughout and gave evidence against Cole in court, with special measures including a screen to help her.”

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Man sought by police in connection to Southgate Crawley stabbing named

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Police have named a man who they want to interview over the stabbing of another man in Crawley, which is being treated as attempted murder.

Anton Reynolds, 27, is described as black, 5′ 8″, with long dark black Afro-style hair. He may be wearing a grey tracksuit top and bottoms and he has connections to Crawley and South London.

The 25-year-old victim was found with multiple stab wounds near the Southgate roundabout in Crawley just before 3.30pm on Friday 4 October. It is now believed he had been stabbed in the fields to the north of the roundabout.

He has been discharged from hospital, but will still need further treatment for his injuries

Detective Sergeant Joel Brooks said:

“Our investigation into this serious but isolated incident is progressing and we are working tirelessly to pursue several lines of enquiry, and it is important that we trace Anton Reynolds as soon as possible.

“If you have any information on his whereabouts, do not approach him yourself, but get in touch with us.

“We are also continuing to appeal for any witnesses or anyone with other information to come forward.”

Anyone able to help is asked to contact police online or by calling 101, quoting Operation Edgbaston.

Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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