Seventeen years for Nottinghamshire child abuse

15/09/2016

A Nottinghamshire man has been jailed for 17 years for abusing children. Andrew Brookes targeted young girls, one of whom had learning disabilities, over a number of years.

He abused his first victim several times when she was visiting Nottinghamshire some years ago and, more recently, conducted a campaign of abuse on a second victim, sexually assaulting her initially, before escalating to a series of rapes.

The case had valuable support from registered intermediaries, who help people with communication difficulties to talk to and understand advocates, judges and the jury in court.

Lawrence English, head of the East Midlands rape and serious sexual offences team said: "Andrew Brookes is a highly dangerous man, pursuing his sexual agenda with young and extremely vulnerable people. He targeted his victims for their vulnerability, thinking he would get away with it. However, these young girls did have the courage to come forward and report what he was doing, and a tenacious and thorough investigation revealed the true extent of his offending.

"As well as abusing these victims, Brookes was keeping a series of indecent images of children. His offending was only stopped when he was confronted by the overwhelming evidence of his offending."

Background information
Andrew Brookes pleaded guilty to assault of a child by penetration against one victim and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity; three counts of assault of a child by penetration; three counts of sexual assault of a child; causing a child to watch a sexual act; taking and possessing indecent photographs of a child and rape against the other. A further count of assault by penetration against a third victim was allowed to lie on file after he pleaded not guilty.

Support from an intermediary is one of many special measures that the CPS can apply for to help vulnerable or frightened victims and witnesses to give evidence. Find out more here.

Intermediaries help people with communication difficulties, such as learning disabilities, to understand and communicate with the court and during police interviews. This enables them to give the best evidence they can to enable investigators and ultimately the court to understand what has happened to them. Although there was no trial in this case, the intermediary helping one of the victims provided valuable support to help her understand what was happening in the case.

Andrew Brookes was sentenced to five years for the offending against the first victim and twelve years for the offences against the second victim, with the sentences to run consecutively.  The court issued a restraining order preventing him from contacting all three victims on his eventual release and a sexual harm prevention order prohibiting him from unsupervised access to children and from owning equipment to access the internet.