January 2019

Hailsham pensioner jailed for raping girl in Crawley

A Hailsham man has been given a 10-year prison sentence for raping a girl in Crawley more than 40 years ago, Sussex Police said.

Eric Jones, 85, of Ashley Gardens, Hailsham, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Monday, January 7, after being found guilty by a jury on December 11, Sussex Police said.

The retired man was committed of one count of rape against a young girl in the 1970s while he was living in Crawley, a police spokesman said.

Detective Constable Rees Hopcraft said: “I would like to praise the bravery of the victim who has, after all these years, come forward to report the offences.

She had to re-live the traumatic experience by providing evidence and sitting through the court process following Jones’s not guilty plea.

“The victim’s willingness to aid our investigation helped ensure that justice was done.”

Jones will be a registered sex offender for life, the police spokesman said.