May 2022

Man jailed for ‘utterly vile’ sex abuse on a child for years

A man who carried out ‘utterly vile’ sex abuse on a child when he was a teenager and carried it on for years has finally been jailed.

The court heard the victim of the abuse was of primary school age when it started, and began to realise it was wrong when they had sex education lessons when they started secondary school.

Matthew Mills, who is now 36, had denied committing a series of sex offences against a child dating back more than 20 years, but was found guilty of all the eight counts he was charged with, by a jury at Bristol Crown Court this week.

The seven-day trial began on Monday, April 25, and he was convicted and sentenced on Thursday this week, May 5.

The jury heard Mills’ offending began when he was a teenager, but he continued to inflict sexual abuse on his victim into his adult years. Now police officers who investigated the case have praised the victim for speaking out after all these years.

He was found guilty of eight charges: two counts of gross indecency with a child, two counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child, two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, the attempted rape of a child and assault by penetration.

Mills, from Briscoes Avenue in Hartcliffe, was jailed for a total of 12 years for the offences.

“The child began to understand that this was wrong through sex education classes at secondary school,” said Judge Euan Blair, as he sentenced Mills. “They have had to come to court and relive experiences which is hugely distressing for them.

“I bear in mind that you (Mills) were immature and a young man at the time of these offences. This lasted a period of time when you knew what you were doing was wrong,” he added.