Brighton man jailed for child cruelty and sex offences

John Denian (Photograph: Sussex Police) SUS-161212-115716001
John Denian (Photograph: Sussex Police) SUS-161212-115716001

A Brighton man has been sentenced to three years in prison for historic sexual and cruelty offences against a child, Sussex Police said.

John Denian, 65, a handyman, of Dewe Road, Brighton, appeared at Brighton Crown Court on Friday (December 9), having been found guilty of incitement to gross indecency, indecent assault and cruelty on a girl aged between five and 10.

He was sentenced to one year for the indecency offences, and two years, to run consecutively, for the child cruelty offence. He will be a registered sex offender for ten years.

Detective Constable Sarah Townsend said; “Denian took advantage of the vulnerability of this young girl, who he knew for many years, starting when she was barely five years old. It was a quite appalling breach of trust and only a year ago did she feel able to come forward and tell us what had happened to her over so many years.

“We admire her bravery in coming forward and giving evidence/being prepared to give evidence. It shows that we will always take such reports seriously and will investigate wherever possible.”

The victim said after Denian was convicted; “My childhood was filled with fear, uncertainty, misery and the feeling I had nowhere to turn as a result of the violence and abuse I experienced. I felt conscious of small things every day, even what I wore and how I presented myself. I spent years feeling petrified of John Denian and it has been extremely difficult for me to come forward and speak about this but it was the right decision to do so.

“I also chose to give my evidence in court without the use of screens or video link because I wanted to face him as an adult, and show him I have control of my own life and I wasn’t afraid of him any more. I am delighted that he has been convicted and I can now move forward with the continued support of my friends and partner.”