Newhaven male given 14 year sentence

An East Sussex man is starting a long prison sentence for a series of sexual offences against two young girls.

Craig McAndrew, 34, previously from Newhaven but subsequently of no fixed address and living in the Watford area, was sentenced to 14 years and three months when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Friday (8 November) having been found guilty after a trial in September of six offences of sexual assault on multiple occasions against two girls known to him, both aged under 13 between 2016 and 2018 in Newhaven.

Four of the offences were committed against one of the girls, for which he was given ten years, and two were committed against the other girl, for which he was given three years, both sentences to run consecutively.

In addition to those sentences he will also serve a further one year on extended licence, and was given a further three months, also to run consecutively, for absconding from court during his trial in September. The court issued a warrant for him and following publicity he handed himself in at Watford Police Station on 21 September.

The trial continued and he was found guilty, in his absence, on Monday 16 September.

McAndrew will also be a registered sex offender for life and was given a sexual Harm prevention order (SHPO) to last indefinitely, severely restricting his access to anyone under 18.

Detective Constable Julie Nightingale of the East Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said; “McAndrew systematically preyed on these two vulnerable girls for his own sexual gratification and the abuse only came to light last year when the first girl spoke about it to a family member.

“Both bravely supported our investigation throughout and gave evidence against McAndrew at the trial via videolink.

“If you or anyone you know is being abused in this way, do not suffer in silence. Contact us online or by calling 101, and we will arrange for you to talk to experienced investigators who can also help you to access further sources of advice and support.”