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Teenage girl sexually assaulted in Tilgate, Crawley

Police are appealing for witnesses after a teenage girl was sexually assaulted in Crawley.

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The 15-year-old victim was approached by an unknown man in the car park of St Bernadette’s Church, in Tilgate Way, about 5.25pm on Thursday 11 July.

The suspect then touched her over her clothing, before making off in the direction of Tilgate Parade.

He is described as white, in his mid-20s, about 6’, of slim build, with stubble, and was wearing a red long-sleeved hoody – possibly with black writing on it – with the hood pulled tight around his face at the time of the offence.

He also wore round shaped sunglasses with a gold mirror finish, and possibly stone-coloured combat shorts with knee pockets.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or who saw a man matching the suspect’s description is asked to report it online or call 101, quoting serial 1313 of 11/07.

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online. 

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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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