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'Sadistic' rapist, robber and thief jailed for 20 years

A rapist, robber and thief has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for his crimes in Brighton.

Louis Thomas described as 'vicious and sadistic'

Louis Thomas, 35, unemployed, of Lower Rock Gardens, has been convicted of two rapes, a robbery and theft across the night of June 30 and into the early hours of July 1 last year.

On the night of June 30, 2013 Thomas approached a woman in her early 30s, a homeless woman, who was on the beach with friends and convinced her to leave with him offering her a place to shower and change. At his home in Lower Rock Gardens he then raped her.

After allowing her to leave, Thomas then went back out into the city where he found his next victim, a 21-year-old man from Brighton. This victim had been out with friends and had left to walk home alone. Thomas began walking with him before dragging him into his home and threatening him with a weapon before raping him. He then forced his victim to a nearby cash point to withdraw around £100 and stole his phone.

The victim immediately made his way to the police station where he reported what had happened.

In summing up the end of the trial Judge Rennie described him as a 'vicious and sadistic individual who treated his victims like lumps of meat' and a man who 'had no real regard for people' and a 'bare faced liar'. His sentence of 20 years is extremely satisfying and I would like to thank the victims unreservedly and to all my colleagues that were involved in helping to bring this man to justice.

– Detective sergeant Emma Vickers

Man guilty of historic sex offences against young child

A man has been found guilty of sexual offences against a child in Brighton during the 1970s.

Bruce Ernest Geoffery Schooley, 62, from Lancing stood trial at Lewes Crown Court charged with five counts of raping a child between 5 and 12-years-old and five counts of indecent assault on a child between 5 and 12-years-old during the 1970s. The victim is known to him and occurred at his then home address in Whitehawk.

He was found guilty of all ten the offences and was sentenced to 21 years in prison. He will be on the sex offenders register for life and has been given a sexual offences prevention order.

The victim came forward to report these offences last year, more than 30 years after they happened and we worked with her to secure the conviction of Schooley. The victim, who is now an adult, was extremely brave in coming forward and we were able to offer her support throughout the investigation and during the trial. We would assure any victim of any sexual offence to make contact with us, no matter how long ago the offences occurred. You will be treated sensitively and given help and support.

– Detective constable Andrew Beaumont

Man in CCTV could be key witness in rape investigation

Police are hoping to trace a man caught on CCTV who could be a key witness to a rape in Eastbourne in the early hours of Sunday.

The man seen in this image was in the area when a woman was raped on the lower promenade around 2am.

The victim, a 21-year-old woman, had been out with friends on Saturday evening but left by herself. She was walking on the upper promenade at around 2am, towards the pier, when a man she had not met before pulled her onto the lower promenade, just to the east side of the pier, where he raped her.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Williams said: "This man could hold key information about what happened and could help us trace the suspect.

The man who raped her is described as Asian or mixed race, medium build with a bald head or shaved head, no taller than 5' 6" with a round face and clean shaven. He was wearing a thick dark coloured jumper with a round neck with buttons or a zip to half way down his chest, he had a blue T-shirt on underneath.


Virgin launch new route from Gatwick to Georgia, USA

Airline launches new route to Atlanta in Georgia Credit: ITV Meridian

Virgin Atlantic launched their new route to Atlanta in Georgia in the USA today. It was also the debut flight for their first Boeing 787 airliner - which took off from Gatwick Airport in Sussex. The company has ordered 16 of the aircraft in a deal worth seven billion dollars.

The airline, based in Crawley, say the new route is part of a strategy to develop more services to north America. It means they end the summer with some good news after the recent announcement about the phasing out of the domestic UK airline, Little Red. They are also pulling out of a number of long haul routes to the Far East and Africa earlier this year.

The firm's Chief Executive - Craig Kreeger, says the changes mean the airline is set to be profitable again this year:

Parents and son convicted of brutal assault

Three people have been found guilty of assault after a fight near Billingshurst in 2012.

Family were convicted after two and a half week trial in Hove

On May 27 2012, the two victims a 26-year-old man and a 52-year-old man, were attacked in their driveway at their home on Loxwood Road in Alford Bars. At 10pm three members of the Stevens family arrived at the address and the victims suffered a sustained attack by being repeatedly punched and assaulted with a baseball bat, an axe handle and a wheelbarrow.

Gary Stevens Senior, 46, and Kim Stevens, 47, both of Plaistow Road, Dunsfold were found guilty of GBH with intent and ABH, Gary Stevens Junior, their son, 19, also of the same address was found guilty of GBH and ABH. The jury found them guilty after a two and a half week trial at Hove Crown Court.

There was an incident between two members of the families involved, who are all known to each other, in Cranleigh earlier that evening. This resulted in what happened on the driveway of the property in Alfold Bars in which the two victims sustained their injuries.

The victims received multiple fractures to their faces and injuries to their arms as they tried to defend themselves. Both victims were hospitalised, the victim of the GBH for four days and he sustained lasting damage to his eye-socket as a result.

Five people were arrested in July 2012 and they stood trial in June 2013. When the trial collapsed, a retrial took place this month at Hove Crown Court.

– Detective constable Jon Berisford

The family, parents and son, were found guilty. Sam Smith and Tony Smith were both acquitted on both counts of ABH and GBH.

The Stevens are due to be sentenced on November 13.

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