The UK's fastest-growing regional news network
11°C | 4°C
13°C | 6°C
12°C | 6°C
See the full forecast for your area.
Sponsored by Britelite.
Home Sittingbourne News Article
A delivery driver has been jailed for 33 years today after being convicted of raping and sexually assaulting nine victims across several counties over 13 years.
Darren Jeffries, 48, of Sittingbourne, committed more than 80 offences in total.
His youngest victim was just two years old, Guildford Crown Court was told.
Jeffries, of Roonagh Court, has been given the lengthy jail sentence for the string of crimes committed in his home town.
He must serve at least 22 years before being considered for parole, the court was told.
His crimes include a sexual assault against a 16-year-old in May 2008; two abductions of a 15-year-old girl between March 2009 and April 2010; two counts of grooming a girl, 15, between March 2009 and April 2010 and four counts of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl between March 2009 and April 2010.
His conviction follows a previous trial in October last year, when he was found guilty of 11 serious sexual offences of rape and gross indecency against a girl aged between five and 17.
They include five counts of rape and six counts of gross indecency - all committed in Kent.
"He had no moral boundaries, abusing whoever he had a predilection towards and actively seeking out young girls on the internet to groom" - DCI Juliet Parker
In total, Jeffries committed more than 80 offences against nine victims aged between two and 17 years old, across numerous counties, over a period of 13 years.
The true extent of his catalogue of crime only became clear when Surrey police heard of his attempts to groom a 14-year-old schoolgirl in the Surrey Heath area of Surrey.
When police arrested him they uncovered seven mobile phones which revealed around 1,000 indecent images and videos, including extreme footage of very young children and bestiality.
Detective Chief Inspector Juliet Parker of the Surrey Police public protection unit said when Jeffries was convicted: "He had no moral boundaries, abusing whoever he had a predilection towards and actively seeking out young girls on the internet to groom.
"A dedicated team of officers has spent nearly a year tracing victims and putting together the cases which have successfully brought Jeffries to justice."
Speaking after the case, Chief Crown Prosecutor Jaswant Narwal for CPS South East said: “Jeffries was a sexual predator who abused and exploited his victims, fully aware that they were under-age.
"He used flattery as a tool to befriend the girls and gain their trust in order to enable him to commit the offences.
"He prolifically targeted young vulnerable children and exploited their trust in him. Today’s sentence reflects the seriousness of these offences.
Video: One of Jeffries' victims speaks out - as police talk of their investigation
"Jeffries is a danger to society and now he has been brought to justice he will no longer pose a threat.
"I hope his sentencing allows his victims and their families to begin moving on with their lives.”
Click here for more news from Sittingbourne.
Click here for more news from around the county.