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Police praise courage of victims after paedophile jailed

Darren Jeffries was caught after committing offences spanning numerous counties over thirteen years Photo: Surrey Police

A predatory paedophile has been sentenced to 33 years behind bars today, after two trials at Guildford Crown Court.

Darren Jeffries, a delivery driver from Roonagh Court in Sittingbourne in Kent, was found guilty last month of multiple serious sexual offences and abduction against two girls under 17. He must serve at least 22 years in jail before becoming eligible for parole.

The 48-year-old was also found guilty of multiple offences of rape and gross indecency against a girl between the ages of five and 17 at a previous trial heard at Guildford Crown Court in October 2013.

The offences he was convicted of took place in the Sittingbourne area, but Jeffries was caught after Surrey Police were alerted in February 2013 to his meeting and grooming of a 14-year-old schoolgirl in the Surrey Heath area. Officers arrested him and seized seven mobile phones which revealed more than a thousand indecent images and videos. Officers spent almost a year investigating his crimes, and tracing victims.

Jeffries had committed more than 80 offences against nine victims in a number of counties, over a time period of thirteen years.

“The sentencing today reflects the truly sickening and abhorrent nature of Jeffries offending. He had no moral boundaries, abusing whoever he had a predilection towards and actively seeking out young girls on the internet to groom. His cunning and calculating behaviour spanned more than a decade of abuse. The public can be reassured that he has now been removed from our streets and can no longer pose a threat to vulnerable members of the public.

“Without the courage of the victims who have come forward it would not have been possible to pursue this predatory paedophile. They have shown considerable strength of character in court when recounting events and without their determination this result would not have been possible. These crimes have had a significant impact on their lives and that of their families and I hope this outcome may help them in coming to terms with their traumatic experiences.

“I would encourage any victim to come forward to Surrey Police and report any similar incidents. Surrey Police treats all allegations of rape and sexual assault extremely seriously. Our priority is victim care and people need to feel confident that if they come forward and report an offence we can help. We have a dedicated investigation team for such crime and the dedicated unit works to obtain best evidence. We also work closely with our partner agencies including CEOP, the NHS with whom Surrey Police has a Sexual Assault Referral Centre and the NSPCC.”

– Detective Chief Inspector Juliet Parker, Surrey Police Public Protection Unit