Man jailed for child sex offences

A man who previously lived in Midhurst is starting a nine-year prison sentence for a series of sexual offences, including sex attacks on a young girl, following an investigation by Sussex Police.

Tuesday, 19th December 2017, 2:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th December 2017, 2:16 pm
Ben Tomsett. Sussex Police

Police said Benjamin Tomsett, 43, a shop manager, from Kent, previously of Poplar Way, Midhurst, was sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court on Friday, (December 15), having been found guilty after a trial of four counts of sexual assaults on a girl.

He had also pleaded guilty to possession of 243 indecent images of unidentified young girls.

He will be a registered sex offender for life and was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) to last until further court order, severely restricting his access to computers and children.

Detective Constable Amanda Zinyama of the West Sussex safeguarding investigations unit said: “For six months this little girl had been subjected to systematic assaults by Tomsett.

“Finally the girl summoned up the courage to tell her family. As soon as we were told, enquiries were made and Tomsett was swiftly arrested.

“When he was arrested his mobile phone was seized and the indecent images of children were found.

“None were of his victim or of any other identifiable children.

“He admitted to downloading and viewing the images when he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol but he denied the sexual assaults up to and throughout the trial.

“His victim therefore had to have her fully detailed and video-recorded evidence played in court and was cross-examined as part of his defence.”