Billingshurst man imprisoned for sex offences

Jason Alun Asthana, 32, of Coombe Close, Coombe Hill, Billingshurst, has been sent to prison for sex offences.

He appeared in custody at Hove Crown Court on Friday, February 1, and was sentenced to a total of four years and eight months imprisonment, having been found guilty after a trial in December last year of a sexual assault on a boy under 13, and of inciting the same boy to commit a sexual act. He was found not guilty of a second offence of sexual assault on the same boy.

He had pleaded guilty at a hearing in September last year to making 20 indecent images of children.

Asthana was sentenced to four years for the sexual assault, to one year for the incitement offence, both to run concurrently, and to eight months for the indecent images offences, to run consecutively to the other sentences.

The contact offences took place at the scout premises in Billingshurst whilst Asthana was working as a local Beaver Scout leader.

The indecent image offences did not involve any contact, direct or indirect, with children, and none of the images are of local children.

The charges were authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service following an investigation by child protection detectives in West Sussex.

Detective Constable Dani Flude said: “The victim in this case has been deeply affected by what happened to him. As the Victim Impact Statement handed to the court by his mother said, he suffered twice, first from the actual offending and then by having to re-live it in court. He has been very brave and it is very much due to him that justice has now been done.

“It is an illustration of the emotional harm he underwent that he has said to his mother that only now does he feel safe to go out by himself to the local sweet shop.

“We do take seriously and follow up allegations of this type. Victims and their families can contact us at any time by calling 101 and arranging to talk to experienced and specially trained detectives in confidence.”


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