Clacton: Dangerous sex offender behind bars
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A dangerous sex offender is behind bars thanks to specialist detectives who have secured justice for the two people he abused.
Simon Chilton was convicted last week of a string of sexual offences against two children who he abused between 2013 and 2018.
The 36 year-old, formerly of Glover Close, Clacton, was arrested after the offences came to light in November 2018.
Specialist detectives from our child abuse investigation team carried out a thorough investigation and supported the victims, including utilising new measures which meant they didn’t have to give evidence at his trial.
Following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, Chilton was found guilty of seven counts of rape, six counts of sexual assault, four counts of sexual assault by penetration, and one count of assault by beating.
At the same court today (Friday 14 May) he was jailed for 21 years with an additional year on licence.
The case was one of the first where we used new powers to better support victims by allowing the evidence of vulnerable victims or witnesses to be pre-recorded at an early stage, before a trial.
This means their recollection of what happened is fresher and they don’t then have to go through the ordeal of giving evidence at an actual trial.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Nicola Blackburn said:
“The two victims have shown incredible bravery in reporting these offences to us and telling us what happened.
“We supported them to ensure their welfare and help them tell us what had happened to them.
“Simon Chilton subjected them to an unimaginable ordeal spanning years.
“He will now spend a significant time behind bars where he will not be able to endanger any more young people.
“No sentence can ever undo the damage Chilton has caused but I hope this result will help his victims to move forward.”
The new measures used in this case, known as Section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, was launched in Essex in August 2020.
Detective Superintendent Neil Pudney, from our Crime and Public Protection Command, said:
“The use of this new measure will have real benefits for victims of crime.
“It improves the quality of evidence we can put forward to a trial but, more importantly, means a vulnerable victim does not have to go through the ordeal of giving evidence in a court room.
“Better quality evidence increases the chance of a conviction, and therefore justice for the victim.
“And giving evidence at an actual trial can be a stressful and intimidating prospect, especially for vulnerable victims or witnesses so having this measure in place which means their evidence can be heard without them having to stand up in court means we can better support victims.
“And victims are at the heart of everything we do.”