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Paedophile caught raping girl, 12, in car park

Niall O’Sullivan, 28, has been jailed <i>(Image: Sussex Police)</i>
Niall O’Sullivan, 28, has been jailed (Image: Sussex Police)

A paedophile has been jailed after police caught him raping a 12-year-old girl in his car.

Niall O’Sullivan, 28, groomed the girl by sending her message on a mobile phone app before driving from his home in Birmingham to Brighton in order to meet her.

He was interrupted by police officers who found him committing the crime in a car park in Brighton Marina at 2pm on May 7.

O’Sullivan admitted and was sentenced for seven counts of rape at Lewes Crown Court on November 24.

He was jailed for a total of nine years and four months.

He will not be automatically released halfway through his sentence. Instead he must serve two-thirds of the sentence before he can be considered for parole.

The court also added an extra year to serve on licence following his time in prison.

O’Sullivan will be a registered sex offender for life and was made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order indefinitely to restrict his access to children.

The court heard that former mechanic O’Sullivan preyed on his victim on a chat app from November 2022 when he began sending messages.

O’Sullivan raped his victim in his car six times from when the pair first met in April this year. He would often drive his victim to public car parks before attacking her.

He became angry with the victim when she tried to speak with or go out with other friends.

She received support from specially-trained officers and the Brighton Safeguarding Investigation Unit (SIU) led the inquiry into O’Sullivan.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Stewart Cameron from Brighton SIU said: “This was a highly distressing case which has had a lasting impact on the vulnerable young victim.

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“O’Sullivan knew what he was doing was wrong and had no choice but to plead guilty when confronted with the evidence.

“His behaviour was brazen, often taking the victim to public locations in daylight in order to commit the appalling offences.

“This case demonstrates our determination to catch offenders and to get justice for vulnerable victims. We are pleased that a dangerous sex offender is now off our streets.”