A FORMER Haslemere man has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for the non-recent sexual abuse of six boys between 1980 and 2007.

Following an extensive 20-month investigation by Detective Richard Pegden of Guildford CID, Geoffrey Horne, 56, was found guilty of 14 child sexual offences and making indecent images of children.

The trial, which concluded on June 4, is the second trial Horne has been the subject of, having been found guilty of offences relating to making indecent images of children in March this year. Sentencing took place on Tuesday at Kingston Crown Court.

Horne was arrested in November 2016, following further allegations made by one of his victims. As the investigation progressed other victims were identified.

The offending took place in Haslemere, Farnham and East Hampshire, and the victims were boys between the ages of 11-16. Horne was well-known locally in the community, ingratiating himself with families in order to access boys of his target age. He is reported to have bought them alcohol and supplied controlled drugs in order to facilitate the offences.

Detective Sergeant Nicky Gardner said: “Horne was a calculating and manipulative individual who took advantage of boys who were, in many cases vulnerable due to their social circumstances. He manipulated the situation to ensure the boys would be unlikely to speak out and if they had, would be unlikely to have been believed.

“This left him free to offend repeatedly. Some boys were subject to a single assault while other’s abuse went on for months or even years, with each boy thinking they were the ‘only one’.

“The courage shown by these men to stand up and publicly talk about their abuse is commendable, it was a huge decision especially when many had never told anyone, even family or friends. I am incredibly grateful for them to have put their trust in the police and CPS to take this case forward and I hope that they can take a step forward knowing they no longer have the secret to hide.

“Surrey Police understand that rape and sexual assault, historic or recent, is a difficult and sensitive crime to report for all survivors. We will always listen and respect your wishes while providing you with appropriate advice and support.”