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Couple jailed for sexual assault on boy in Ash

Couple jailed for sexual assault on boy in Ash

Published by Eagle Radio News Team at 9:34am 18th August 2019. (Updated at 5:47am 19th August 2019)

A couple who sexually abused a young boy in Ash have been jailed for a combined total of 24 years.

James Hedges, 36, and Lauren O’Hanlon, 28, assaulted the boy several times in November 2017.

The offences came to light when police found images of child sexual abuse on a mobile phone belonging to Hedges.

Hedges had already been convicted four times for making and distributing indecent images of children and was subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) prohibiting him owning a phone with internet access.

He was arrested on March 6, 2018 for owning an iPhone. When the phone was searched, police officers found images of the abuse Hedges and O'Hanlon had committed against the boy.

The phone also contained over a thousand other indecent images of children.

Detective Constable Dan Lucas of Hampshire Constabulary said:

"Hedges in particular is a prolific offender.

"Following the horrific discovery, Hedges was charged with five counts of sexual assault, as well as 10 counts relating to making and distributing indecent images.

"He was also charged with breaching his SHPO.

"O’Hanlon was charged with 5 counts of sexual assault as well as 6 counts relating to making and distributing indecent images."

Both Hedges and O'Hanlon denied the charges but were found guilty by a jury at Winchester Crown Court following a two-week trial in June this year.

They were sentenced on Friday August 16.

Hedges, of Cumberland Avenue in Basingstoke, was sentenced to 16 years.

O’Hanlon, of no fixed address, was sentenced to eight years.

Detective Constable Dan Lucas added:

"This was a truly shocking case, and we would encourage anyone who has any information about a child being abused to contact police."