Twenty six-year-old Matthew Stimson from Burringham near Scunthorpe has today been sentenced to seven years in prison for the sexual abuse of several young girls in North Lincolnshire.
He has also been given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and is required to sign on the sex offenders register for life following a string of offences spreading over more than a year and a half.
Detective Sergeant John Shepherd supervised the team from Humberside Police's Protecting Vulnerable People Unit who investigated the case and said: “Matthew Stimson displayed a strong sexual interest in underage girls. He controlled and manipulated his victims through excessive messaging by text and social media, and effectively deprived them of a normal childhood, purely for his own sexual gratification.
“Since Matthew Stimson first came to police attention in 2017 we and our partner agencies tried to intervene early on, issuing child abduction warning notices to Stimson, and children’s social care colleagues worked to protect the young girls he targeted. Together we tried to disrupt his activities to reduce the risk of harm.
“He did not heed any of the warnings given and became more persistent in his offending. Even after being convicted of child abduction, and issued with a SHPO in May 2018, he continued to offend, displaying a level of contempt for the criminal justice system and his willingness to exploit children.
“He continued offending, all of the agencies involved supported the victims while we concentrated on gathering evidence to secure enough evidence to bring him back to court.
“On one occasion Matthew Stimson was arrested having been found hiding a young girl in his home.
“Whilst Stimson was serving a custodial sentence for breaching his SHPO he was further interviewed and specific evidence put to him regarding further offences and was charged with the additional offences which he has today been sentenced for.
“I am very pleased with the outcome today as it was clear that only a custodial sentence would stop Stimson from sexually offending and behaving in this appalling way.
“This has been a complex case, further complicated by the fact that victims often, and understandably, do not want to speak to police and provide evidence against their offenders. Victims are so well groomed and controlled by the offender that they feel there is no way out.
“I want to thank all of our partner agency colleagues who worked so hard to tackle this case and hope that the victims can now move on with their lives, away from the grasp of Matthew Stimson.
“Victims of child sexual abuse (CSA) and child sexual exploitation (CSE) suffer both in the short-term; from the actions of the perpetrator and in the long-term from the impact of the trauma they experience.
"I want to reassure our communities that these crimes will always be treated as a priority by Humberside Police and together this is something that we try to remove from our communities.”