Local man jailed for child sexual offences

Local man jailed for child sexual offences

Local man jailed for child sexual offences

A 28-year-old man has been jailed following a five-year investigation into a number of reported child sexual offences.

Harry Smith of Anderby Creek, Skegness, denied the allegations, but was found guilty of the rape of a young girl and the possession of indecent images by a jury following an eight day trial.

He appeared at Grimsby Crown Court for sentencing yesterday, Friday 18 June, where he was told he will spent the next 12 years in prison.

On Wednesday 28 April, the court heard how the young girl had presented at A&E in September of 2016 with severe injuries, which were explained away by Mr Smith as being accidental and caused in non-suspicious circumstances.

He was later arrested by Humberside Police officers and questioned in relation to the injuries, which was when indecent images were found on his devices.

The young girl has remained in safe care away from Mr Smith following his initial arrest five years ago.

DC Mel Goodman, leading the investigation, said:

“I would like to firstly commend the victim for her bravery in coming forward in October 2020 to out the lies Harry Smith had been telling for a number of years.

“Understandably this has been an extremely confusing and difficult ordeal which no child should have to go through, but she has been so strong.

“Often in cases like these, victims don’t know that they are victims or have been manipulated by suspects into thinking it is their fault or they will get in trouble if they tell people the truth.

“It can take time for victims to process what has happened to them and realise it is wrong, and it is very difficult to then come forward about it.

“I would like to provide reassurance that no matter how much time has passed since the offending, we will take your report seriously and do all we can to bring offenders to justice and protect you from them.

“Harry Smith is now where he belongs, in prison, and whilst I appreciate the victim will never be able to forget what has happened, I hope that she feels a sense of closure in the knowledge he can’t do any further harm.

“I would like to thank my team for their dedicated efforts over this five-year investigation, but also the teachers, social workers and healthcare professionals who have assisted with the investigation. 

“The registered intermediary and ISVA who have provided specialist support for the victim over these years should also be recognised, as victim support is an incredibly important part of any investigation into child sexual offences.

“I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse in their childhood, whether that be now or historically, to come forward and speak to us. You will be listened to and supported.”