'Dangerous and prolific' child rapist due to be sentenced

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Simon Chilton, 36, is facing a jail sentence after being convicted of sexual abuse of children (file photo)

A "dangerous and prolific" Clacton man has been found guilty of a string of sexual offences against two children.

Simon Chilton, formerly of Glover Close, was arrested in November 2018 after details of his abuse of the children over the previous five years came to light.

Specialist detectives from Essex Police's child abuse investigation team supported the victims and worked with them to get their account of what happened.

In September 2019, Chilton was charged with eight counts of rape, four counts of sexual assault, four counts of sexual assault by penetration, two counts of sexual assault and one count of assault by beating.

The 36-year-old denied all the charges but, following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, he was found guilty on Wednesday of seven counts of rape, four counts of sexual assault by penetration, two counts of sexual assault and one count of assault by beating.

He was found not guilty of one count of rape.

Chilton is due to be sentenced at the court on Friday, May 14.

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The case was one of the first where Essex Police used new powers which allowed the evidence of vulnerable victims or witnesses to be pre-recorded at an early stage, before a trial.

This means their recollection of what happened is fresher and they do not have to go through the ordeal of giving evidence at court.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Nicola Blackburn, of Essex Police, said: "Simon Chilton is a dangerous and prolific abuser who subjected these two children to an unimaginable ordeal spanning years.

"Not only this, but he forced them to re-live their ordeal through a trial. No-one should experience what Chilton put his victims through, let alone children.

"His vile actions now mean he is likely to spend a significant amount of time behind bars.

"I want to praise the courage of his victims. It has taken incredible courage to come forward and report Chilton’s abuse and I am glad we have been able to bring him to justice.

"When someone reports abuse to us they are supported by specially trained officers and staff and they can be confident their cases will be investigated by dedicated detectives."