Hastings man sent for trial for alleged sex offences against young girls

Court news
Court news

A man faces trial over alleged sexual offences against seven young girls, as well as blackmail, possessing indecent images of children, and possessing an offensive weapon.

Harry Leigh, 18, unemployed, of Mountbatten Close, Hastings, appeared in custody at Lewes Crown Court on Friday (April 13).

He faces two counts of rape of a teenage girl at an address in Hastings, one count of blackmail of a girl, two counts of sexual assault against two separate girls, five counts of inciting five girls under the age of 16 to engage in sexual activity, eight counts of causing four girls aged under 16 to watch a sexual act, three offences of making indecent images of children and one offence of possessing a bladed article.

He pleaded not guilty to all offences and was remanded in custody to appear for trial at Lewes Crown Court on July 16.

No application was made for bail.

The charges, authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service, follow enquiries by Hastings-based Safeguarding detectives.

Detective sergeant Steve Shimmons said: “Anyone who is affected by learning of this case can contact us via 101 or online, quoting Operation Taverham, and can make arrangements to talk in confidence to experienced investigators who can help provide access to sources of support and counselling.”