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Pulborough Rapist Has Jail Sentence Extended After Appeal

A Pulborough man jailed for raping and sexually assaulting multiple young men has had his prison sentence extended following an appeal.

Ian Elliott, 71, of North Heath near Pulborough, was accused of committing 92 offences against six victims in West Sussex between 1999 and 2021.

At Hove Crown Court in February, Elliott was initially jailed for 18 years, with another five to be spent on licence, after pleading guilty to 43 offences against four victims.

That sentence was appealed on the grounds of undue leniency. On Thursday (May 16), the Court of Appeal upheld the appeal and extended Elliott’s sentence to 27 years in prison, with another five to be spent on extended licence.

Detective Constable Victoria Ashworth Kirkby said:

“Ian Elliott’s victims have shown remarkable strength to support these prolonged proceedings, while we sought to secure the justice they deserve.

“They must live with the impact of Elliott’s crimes for the rest of their lives. It is right that Elliott will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.

“I would like to thank each of them for their perseverance, and I hope this result provides them with at least some sense of closure.

“We believe Elliott may have more victims. If you believe you or someone you know may be a victim, please report to us online or via 101, quoting Operation Ridge.

“You can also report offences to Crimestoppers anonymously via 0800 555 111 or via their website www.crimestoppers-uk.org.”

Detective Superintendent Miles Ockwell said:

“Elliott has shown no remorse throughout this process, trying instead to pass blame onto his victims and evade justice for his crimes.

“He was a monster hiding in plain sight, devastating the lives of his victims and their families, while betraying the trust of an entire community.

“I will once again take this opportunity to pay tribute to the bravery of Elliott’s victims who came forward and supported the investigation.

“No prison sentence can make up for the harm he has caused. But the extension of his prison sentence shows we will do all we can to get victims the justice they deserve.

“If you or anyone you know is a victim of sexual offences, please report it to the police. You will be believed and you will be supported.”

The investigation

Ian Elliott would earn the trust of his victims – who were as young as 16 – and their families.

As a well-known member of the community, Elliott was also the chairman of the local sports association and was involved in local social clubs.

He would then give his victims drugs and alcohol with the intention of stupefying or overpowering them, before subjecting them to rapes and serious sexual assaults.

Many of the attacks were filmed by Elliott himself. Footage was discovered by investigating officers, despite Elliott’s attempts to destroy it, which was used in evidence against him.

He was arrested in September, 2022 and his victims were given specialist support while the investigation continued.

In November, 2022, Elliott was charged and remanded in custody. He was charged with 92 separate offences, including 13 rapes, three attempted rapes, 13 sexual assaults and 20 counts of voyeurism.

At Lewes Crown Court on Thursday, November 2, 2023, Elliott pleaded guilty to 11 counts of rape, one count of attempted rape, 17 counts of voyeurism, eight sexual assaults, four counts of possession of Class A, B and C drugs, one count of causing actual bodily harm and one count of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The guilty pleas related to four victims, aged between 16 and 28 at the time of the offences.

An additional 38 charges will lie on file, and 11 were not put forward by the Crown Prosecution Service but are covered by the sentencing powers given through the other convictions.

He was also given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will be a registered sex offender for life.

Passing sentence on February 22, HHJ Gold said Elliott had an 'innate sense of superiority' over his victims and had shown 'not a trace of empathy'. 

HHJ Gold listed Elliott's significant degree of planning, use of intoxicants, betrayal of trust, recording of the offending and attempts to destroy the evidence as aggravating factors, concluding Elliott passed the threshold for dangerousness.

In a statement given to Sussex Police, one of Elliott's victims said:

“Mr Elliott is now in prison because a couple of brave men decided to speak up. If I’ve learned one thing from this case, it’s to go with your instincts and don’t be afraid to speak up if you think abuse is happening.

"Whatever the outcome or however long the outcome takes, don’t let your abuser win. Pick up the phone and report them to the police or at the very least don’t keep it to yourself and tell someone.”

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