Hampshire Incidents

Bringing you breaking news from across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

Portsmouth man sentenced for non-recent child sex offences

A Portsmouth man has been sentenced to eight years in prison after having been found guilty of a number of non-recent child sex offences.

Mark Austin, 59, of Gurney Road, Southsea, appeared before Portsmouth Crown Court today (Wednesday 8 December) for sentence, after a jury found him guilty of six offences at the same court last month.

During the trial, the jury heard how Austin had abused two girls in 1986, when they were aged just five and seven.

The victims came forward to report the abuse to police in 2020 and a thorough investigation followed.

As a result, Austin was charged with four counts of gross indecency with a girl under 14 years of age and two counts of indecent assault on a girl under 14 years of age.

Austin pleaded not guilty to the offences, but was found guilty by a jury and has today been sentenced to eight years in prison. He will also be required to serve an additional year on licence. 

DC Graham Skull, who led the investigation, said: “The women in this case have shown incredible courage in coming forward to report this terrible abuse after having to live with it for so many years.

“The damage that this type of offending causes, and has caused, is indescribable, but the bravery of these women has ensured that Austin has been brought to justice.

“I hope that this sentence today shows that we will treat all reports of this nature with the utmost seriousness and investigate thoroughly, no matter when they occurred.

“Please, if you have been the victim of sexual abuse, no matter when it happened, contact us on 101 where you can speak to someone in confidence.”