A Hastings man was jailed for life for a series of sexual offences against four young girls today (Friday, July 15).
Marcus Hannon, is one of three people from Hastings who were sentenced over the systematic sexual abuse of a girl under-16.
The 35-year-old was also sentenced for sexual assaults on three other young girls.
After a five-week trial at Lewes Crown Court, Dylan Quantrill, 20, of no fixed address, Hannon, of no fixed address, and a woman who cannot be named for legal reasons, were convicted of a series of offences on May 9.
Quantrill and Hannon were each found guilty of raping the girl four times.
The woman was found guilty of three offences of child cruelty, and attempting to pervert the course of justice by asking a school friend of the victim to get her to change her statement.
After a separate nine-day trial at the same court, Hannon was found guilty of further historic sex attacks on three other young girls from Sussex and Manchester on June 16.
Today judge Shani Barnes sentenced Hannon to life imprisonment with a minimum tariff of 10 years, and Quantrill to a total of nine years imprisonment with an extended licence supervision period of five years.
The woman was sentenced to a total of five years.
The vulnerable girl was taken to the Isle of Wight where she was raped by Hannon and Quantrill in a ‘threesome’.
She was then taken by the group to Manchester where she was further raped by Quantrill.
Later in September that year she was again taken to the Isle of Wight where Hannon then again raped her.
Detective Inspector Ben Newman of the East Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said: “The group stayed at guest houses in Ryde and [sic] on the island when Hannon raped her on two separate occasions, between which they all travelled to Manchester where they stayed in a tent and he also raped her.
“We seized items of luggage that contained a number of sex toys, and following examination of several items of the young girl’s underwear forensic traces attributable to Hannon and Quantrill were found.”
DI Newman added: “This was an appalling case of child sexual abuse, in which this [sic] child was groomed, exploited and was then systematically abused.
“While this investigation was taking place last autumn, three other victims of Hannon were identified.
“They to were extremely brave in coming forward, summoning up the courage to say what had happened to them and then giving evidence during a separate trial.
“On 16 June this year Hannon was found guilty of eight further offences, six rapes, and two of gross indecency.
“Between 2003 and 2012 he raped one of the victims who was initially under-16, several times.
“He also raped a vulnerable [sic] girl several times, and another vulnerable victim, a [sic] girl, who he raped and also subjected to violence.”
Detective Chief Inspector Ali Eaton said: “This was an appalling case in which three adults subjected a vulnerable young girl to sexual and physical abuse over several weeks. Hannon had also over many years targeted teenage girls, leaving them with lasting trauma from sexual abuse.
“This investigation first came to light because of our work in identifying and supporting vulnerable young people at risk of child sexual exploitation, and working patiently, with partners, to support them.
“We continue to prioritise the detection, prevention and disruption of this abusive crime against the most vulnerable children.
“It is good that the three are not now in a position to abuse young girls in the foreseeable future but we remind parents and carers that a range of support services are now available to help prevent situations developing into this horrific abuse.”
In sentencing Hannon, the judge described him as ‘using his cunning and manipulative skills to prey on lonely and vulnerable young women’.
She said Quantrill had systematically raped the girl and his behaviour had caused her to fear for her future.
Judge Barnes also commended the police investigators, DI Newman, Detective Constables Lynsey Jamison, Kelly Buck, Hugh Charles, and PC Bizzy Malkin.
”This has been an extra-complex and difficult period for you all, and your tasks to get accurate accounts were extremely difficult for you,” she said.
“You have been relentless and professional and not given up in prosecuting this case. I commend you as a professional and dedicated team.
“Thank you for bringing this to a successful conclusion, you are all very special indeed.”
Advice and support about reporting and preventing child sex abuse and exploitation is available at: www.sussex.police.uk/advice/protect-yourself-and-others/child-protection/child-sexual-exploitation-cse.
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