Married couple Ian and Claire Gillian of Eastbourne were last week sentenced to eight years and two-and-a-half years imprisonment respectively at Lewes Crown Court, the Bexhill Observer reports.

Ian St Claire was found guilty of 16 offences of child cruelty, indecent assault, gross indecency, and attempted buggery of a boy between 1979 and 1993. He was also found guilty of cruelty offences against another boy.

Gillian St Claire was guilty of two offences of ill-treating and neglecting two boys between 1982 and 1995.

Detective Constable Martyn Milligan, of Sussex Police, said: “This was a complex investigation in which we uncovered systematic abuse over many years affecting two vulnerable boys even into their adulthood.

“This was reported to us in 2011, long after the offending had ceased, but we were still able to help achieve justice for the victims, and this sends a clear message that anyone who feels they have been victim of such offending can contact us in confidence at anytime, and their concerns will be taken seriously.”

Jordans Solicitors welcomes this approach from Sussex Police and would encourage any victims of abuse to come forward and report such allegations, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

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