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Former Godalming mayor jailed for child sex offences

Simon Thornton

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 4:08pm 18th June 2018.

A former Godalming mayor has been jailed for nine years for child sex offences.

Simon Thornton pleaded guilty to a number of sexual offences against a child at Guildford Crown Court today (June 18). 

He also admitted taking indecent images, following an investigation by Surrey Police's Sexual Offences Investigation Team.

The 46 year-old from Bordon resigned as Godalming mayor in October 2017, which is when the offences were reported to police, leading to his arrest.

Those offences took place from 2006 until 2009 and related to one victim.

Thornton pleaded guilty to the following charges:

  • 13 charges of sexual activity with a child over 13
  • 9 charges of taking indecent images

Julia Potts, Leader of Waverley Borough Council, said: "On behalf of everyone at Waverley Borough Council and Godalming Town Council, we are all appalled by this news. My thoughts at this time are with the victim.

"It is clear that none of the crimes were committed during his time as a councillor.  

"From the moment we were made aware of the investigation, both councils have been fully cooperative and supportive of the police and their enquiries."

Investigating officer Police Constable Tamzin Ede said:“Simon Thornton displayed predatory behaviour to abuse a child for a prolonged period.

"He clearly believed he would get away with this offending given how long it carried on and has now rightly been jailed for his abhorrent crimes.

“Simon Thornton’s crimes have impacted the victim through her childhood and into adult life, the offending against her have caused low confidence, depression and difficulties in building new trusted relationships.

"The victim in this case has shown real courage in reporting and supporting the police investigation.”

If you have been the victim of a sexual offence or know someone who has please report it to Surrey Police immediately via 101 (or 999 if it is an emergency).

 

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