A paedophile who repeatedly raped and assaulted a young child in Edenbridge has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Andrew Gibbs of High Street, Uckfield was responsible for a period of systematic abuse between 2006 and 2008, during which time he also made threats to his victim to ensure their silence.
Kent Police was initially alerted to allegations of child sex offences on 19 October 2016. A subsequent investigation revealed Gibbs had targeted his victim on multiple occasions. He forced the child to watch pornography and also made threats he would come back and commit further offences, if anyone was to find out about the abuse.
The 53-year-old was arrested on 3 November 2016, after officers executed a search warrant at his former home in Moles Mead, Edenbridge. Forensic analysis of a laptop seized from the property later led to the recovery of almost 100 indecent images of other children, including those depicting abuse and which were in the most severe category.
Appearing before Maidstone Crown Court Gibbs faced 11 separate charges.
These included two counts of raping a child, two of attempted rape and a further three counts of making indecent photographs of a child. Gibbs pleaded not guilty and the case went to trial. He was subsequently convicted of all the offences, after a jury retuned unanimous verdicts.
Gibbs he was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment and given an extended licence period of five years. He was also placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely and made subject of a sexual harm prevention order.
Detective Sergeant 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 damage he has caused is incalculable, but the victim has shown enormous courage to come forward and help us ensure Gibbs now faces a long time in prison.’