Man guilty of 25 year campaign of abuse against young girls

Ian Bennett who has been jailed at Norwich Crown Court after admitting sexual assaults against two child victims.

Ian Bennett who has been jailed at Norwich Crown Court after admitting sexual assaults against two child victims. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

A man already serving a jail sentence for sexual offences against a girl has been convicted of abusing two other child victims years earlier.

Ian Bennett, 57, was jailed for 24 years in 2016 after being found guilty of a campaign of sexual abuse against a young girl between 2005 and 2015.

But Bennett, currently of HM Prison Bure, was back in court after admitting 11 sexual offences against another child, between 1987 and 1992 and two offences against another girl between 1999 and 2001.

Will Carter, prosecuting at Norwich Crown Court, said there was a period of 25 years when Bennett was "routinely abusing young girls" 

The offences, which occurred in Norfolk as well as Lancashire, included two counts of gross indecency against one girl as well as two counts of sexual intercourse with a girl under 13.

Bennett also admitted six counts of sexual assault as well as well as indecency with a child and indecent assault.

In an impact statement one of the victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said her confidence and self-worth were “shattered into pieces”.

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She said what happened was “terrifying” and “still haunts me today” adding she had “wanted to die”.

Another woman, who was abused by Bennett between 1999 and 2001, said the defendant “ruined my life”.

She said her "childhood was not a childhood” and that she had been a “scared little girl”.

The woman felt “disgusted” at the thought of what Bennett had done to her and wished she could have a normal life.

Judge Katharine Moore said Bennett was already serving a sentence for "the most appalling sexual abuse" and was to be dealt with for "serious sexual abuse" against two other young girls in the preceding years.

Bennett was sentenced to an extended determinate sentence of 28 years made up of 20 years custody, and eight years extended licence.

The sentence, which is concurrent to the sentence he is currently serving, means he will not be eligible for parole until 2035.

Andrew Oliver, mitigating, said Bennett stands by his guilty pleas.

He said Bennett's pleas have spared two women from having to give evidence about highly traumatic events.

Bennett, who must sign on the sex offenders register indefinitely, was also made the subject of a restraining order prohibiting him from contacting either victim directly or indirectly.

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