Dangerous paedophile jailed for sexual abuse of vulnerable girl

Andrew Cuckston, 59, from Stevenage, has been jailed for 11 years after being found guilty of a string of sexual offences

Andrew Cuckston, 59, from Stevenage, has been jailed for 11 years after being found guilty of a string of sexual offences against a young girl - Credit: Herts police

A paedophile from Stevenage has been jailed for more than 11 years after being found guilty of sexually abusing a vulnerable young girl.

Andrew Cuckston, of Jessop Road, was found guilty of assaulting a girl under 13 by penetration, attempting to assault a girl under 13 by penetration, causing/inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity and three counts of assaulting a girl under 13 by touching.

Cuckston stood trial at St Albans Crown Court and was convicted on Friday, September 3, before returning for sentencing on Wednesday, November 24, where he was given a total jail term of 11 years and six months.

The jury had previously heard how the offences occurred at an address in Stevenage in 2018, during a four-month period between September and December.

Cuckston, aged 59, was arrested in January 2019 after the victim bravely disclosed to her family the abuse she had been subjected to at the hands of the defendant.

When interviewed by detectives, Cuckston denied the allegations but he was later charged.

In addition to his custodial sentence, Cuckston must also abide by a lifetime Sexual Harm Prevention Order, the terms of which state that he must not be alone in the company of any child under the age of 16, undertake any activity, either voluntary or paid, which is likely to bring him into contact with children under the age of 16 and he must not stay at an address overnight while in the company of any child under the age of 16.

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He will also be placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life, and has been handed a restraining order preventing him from contacting the victim or her family.

Assistant investigator Anne Bradbury, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Joint Child Protection Investigation Team, said: “I want to publicly commend the victim in this case for her bravery throughout this investigation.

"Understandably, it has been hugely traumatic for her and I know she has struggled to come to terms with what happened.

“She has had to wait a long time for Cuckston to go before the court and face up to his crimes. Now her abuser has been convicted and sentenced, I hope the victim is able to find a small sense of closure and begin to move forward.

“Cuckston clearly poses a grave danger to children and the terms of the order granted by the judge ensures his activity will be very closely monitored, both while he is serving his sentence and long afterwards.

“Hertfordshire Constabulary works hard to protect children from predators like Cuckston and we promise to always investigate every report we receive – however long ago the incident happened.”

Anyone in Hertfordshire who has experienced sexual abuse or sexual violence can contact the Herts Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) for practical and emotional support.

The centre can arrange face-to-face support, sexual health referrals, and provide forensic medical examinations for those who want them.

To contact Herts SARC, call the 24/7 helpline on 0808 178 4448, email Herts.SARC@nhs.net or visit www.hertssarc.org.

This service is open to everyone – men, women and young people, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

Other organisations which provide support include Rape Crisis England & Wales, rapecrisis.org.uk, and Red Kite Support, redkitesupport.org.uk.