Horsham man found guilty of sexual assault of a child

A 35-year-old man from Horsham was found guilty of four counts of sexual assault of a child yesterday.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 6:50 pm
Sussex Police

After a six day trail at Guildford Crown Court came to an end yesterday (May 25), Benjamin Nichols, of Newdigate Road, was found guilty police say.

According to police, Nichols was sentenced to 12 months in prison for each count, which he will serve concurrently, and placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years. A sexual harm prevention order was also granted to monitor his digital technology use and restrict his access to children.

Police say the incidents occurred between 2016 and 2017, with the last incident, which led to his arrest, occurring in February 2017.

This case was the first time a Surrey court had used section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act, which allowed Nichols’ victims to be cross-examined in a pre-recorded video, police say.

Detective constable Steven Cassidy, of Reigate’s Criminal Investigation Department team who was in charge of the investigation, said, “This was a lengthy investigation so to get to this point and see a jury unanimously find Nichols guilty on four counts was a great result.

“The young victims were cross-examined beforehand and this was recorded and played out, so they didn’t have to relive their experiences in person before the courtroom. Giving evidence against someone who has assaulted you is a courageous thing to do however it is done, so I want to thank them for helping to bring Nichols to justice.

“I hope their brave actions and the fact that Nichols has been convicted and will suffer the consequences of his actions for some time to come, gives others who may have had experiences like this confidence to come to us for help.”