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Erith man jailed for historical sexual abuse of young girls

CHARGED: Louis Smellie

A 57-year-old man who sexually abused two young girls for over a decade has been jailed after the women came forward and reported the abuse to police 20 years later.

Louis Smellie (27.03.59) of Crusoe Road, Erith was sentenced on Tuesday, 20 December at the Inner London Crown Court to a total of 16 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of rape, indecent assault, gross indecency, child cruelty and actual bodily harm offences over an 11-year period between 1984 and 1995.

The two women - now in their 30s - reported the abuse to police in March 2015. Specialist officers from the Met’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command (SOECA) took accounts from both the women, who explained how Smellie subjected them to sustained physical, psychological and sexual abuse over an 11-year period.

The abuse started when the women were around four years old and continued into their teens, with the abuse taking place at various addresses in the Thamesmead and Ilford areas.

Detective Constable Emma Jimmick, from the Met’s SOECA Command said: "It took an enormous amount of courage for the two women to come forward and report this to police and to then go through the ordeal of a trial. I would like to praise them both for the bravery they’ve shown and I hope that this outcome may help others who have suffered similar abuse in the past to report it to police.

"Smellie preyed on two extremely young girls and subjected them to terrible abuse. It is entirely possible that he has abused other girls and women in the past and I would urge anyone with information to contact us."

Smellie was charged on Wednesday, 6 July 2016 and following a trial at the Inner London Crown Court, was found guilty on Monday, 21 November of: one count of rape of a female under 16; five counts of indecent assault against females under 14; one count of gross indecency against a female under 14; two counts of child cruelty; and one count of actual bodily harm - all by unanimous verdict.

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