Jail for ex-town councillor who sexually abused teenage girls

Former town councillor James Anderson, 34, of Michelham Road, Uckfield, who has been jailed for 32 months after pleading guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a child below the age of 16, two counts of sexual assault and a charge of causing a person to engage in a sexual act without consent.
Former town councillor James Anderson, 34, of Michelham Road, Uckfield, who has been jailed for 32 months after pleading guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a child below the age of 16, two counts of sexual assault and a charge of causing a person to engage in a sexual act without consent.
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A former town councillor who sexually abused three teenage girls after he was elected has been jailed for 32 months, police said.

James Anderson, 34, who was a councillor on Uckfield Town Council, in Sussex, attacked two of the girls in a shop he owned.

All the offences happened while he was a councillor, Sussex Police said.

Anderson, of Michelham Road, Uckfield, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a child below the age of 16, two counts of sexual assault and a charge of causing a person to engage in a sexual act without consent.

Detective Constable Jeanette Reilly, from the East Sussex safeguarding investigations unit, which led the police probe, 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."

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Anderson was also made to sign the sex offenders' register for life and subject to a sexual harm prevention order, which "severely" limits his access to females under 16, police added.

Five of the six incidents happened against two girls in Anderson's shop, in Uckfield High Street, which he no longer owns.

All the offences, which Anderson admitted at a court hearing in November 2018, happened between 2014 and 2017.

He also denied four other charges, one relating to a fourth girl, which a judge ordered to remain on file.