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Former Uckfield town councillor James Anderson jailed for sexually abusing underage girls



A former town councillor who “preyed upon naive and trusting young girls” has been jailed after sexually abusing three teenagers following his election.

Police said James Anderson, who was elected to Uckfield Town Council, Sussex, was jailed for 32 months for several offences while he was a councillor.

The 34-year-old attacked two of the girls in a shop which he owned.

The sentence comes after he pleaded guilty to a charge of causing a person to engage in a sexual act without consent, two counts of sexual assault and three counts of sexual activity with a child below the age of 16.

Detective Constable Jeanette Reilly said: “Anderson preyed upon naive and trusting young girls who he got to know over a period of time though his work, and subjected them to humiliating and distressing experiences for his own sexual gratification.”

Five of the six incidents happened against two girls in Anderson’s high street shop, which he no longer owns.

All of the incidents, which the offender admitted to at a hearing in November, last year, took place between 2014 and 2017.

However, he denied four other charges – one relating to a fourth girl – which a judge ordered to stay on his file.

Police said Anderson was made to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and is now subject to a sexual harm prevention order, which “severely” limits his access to girls under 16.

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