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'Horrendous' Edenbridge child sex offender Andrew Gibbs convicted

By Luke May

A paedophile who put a young child through two years of "horrifying" abuse, has been told he faces at least 10 years behind bars.

Andrew Gibbs preyed on his victim between 2006 and 2008, making threats to keep them silent.

A jury unanimously found the High Street, Uckfield resident guilty of two counts of rape of a child along with a string of other child sex offences.

Maidstone Crown Court, (1130474)
Maidstone Crown Court, (1130474)

All of the offences took place in Edenbridge.

The 53-year-old repeatedly abused his victim, and threatened to come back to commit further offences if anyone found out what he was doing.

He also forced the child to watch pornography.

Gibbs was arrested in November 2016, a month after police were alerted to the abuse.

A police raid at his former home in Moles Mead, Edenbridge, found 100 indecent images of other children, some of which fell into the most serious category.

Police obtained the images despite attempts by Gibbs to wipe his computer clean of any traces.

He was charged with two counts of raping a child, two counts of the attempted rape of a child, sexual assault of a child, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, causing a child to watch a sexual act and causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

Gibbs denied all the charges, along with three counts of making indecent photographs of a child.

"The fact justice has finally been served is largely down to the incredible courage and bravery of his victim" - Det Sgt David Turner

Today a jury unanimously found the paedophile guilty.

The judge, Recorder Mark Weekes said: "These are horrifying offences and it will be a substantial sentence in double digits.

Det Sgt David Turner of the west Kent Vulnerable Investigation Team said: "Gibbs targeted and then repeatedly abused a very young child in some of the most abhorrent ways imaginable. He has carried out horrendous crimes which have caused immeasurable trauma to the victim and their family, who he then also forced to endure a trial.

"The fact justice has finally been served is largely down to the incredible courage and bravery of his victim and Gibbs is thankfully now behind bars where he can cause no further harm to young children.

"This case also illustrates that it is never too late to report any sexual offence. We will always treat any information with the utmost confidence and sensitivity."

Gibbs was remanded in custody, to be sentenced on June 28.

Speaking afterwards, an NSPCC spokesman said: "This is a deeply troubling case in which Gibbs used intimidation to bully his victim into keeping silent.

"Despite the wealth of evidence to the contrary, Gibbs refused to admit his crimes and forced his victim and their family to relive the abuse at trial.

"It is right that Gibbs has now faced justice and we hope that his victim has received all available support to overcome their experiences."

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