'Sexual predator' sentenced for harassing young boy

Police news
Police news

A St Leonards man has been sentenced after sexually harrassing a young boy in the town.

Daniel Bettley, 30, unemployed, of Adam Close, was received a suspended prison sentence and a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court on January 26, police said. Police say he had previously pleaded guilty on December 20 to engaging in sexual communication with a child.

Police say he received 16 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, 300 hours' unpaid work, 30 days' rehabilitation activity requirement and was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.

The court heard how he had been walking his dogs in the Hollington area on August 9 last year when approached a young boy told him that he had a 'nice bottom' and asked if he would show it to him.

The boy ran off and later told his mother that it had happened to him, when she told him that there was a social media post warning about a man asking children to take their trousers down.

Police say Bettley was arrested on August 24 after being spotted by police officers, who had been patrolling the area in a bid to locate a suspect. Police say he was charged with the offence the same day and appeared at Brighton Magistrates' Court two days later.

Detective Constable Greg Montier said: "Bettley was a sexual predator who sought to take advantage of this boy, but who was thankfully thwarted by the youngster's quick-thinking. I commend not only his quick wits, but also his courage in telling his mum what had happened and then working with us to ensure that Bettley was rightly punished for his actions."