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Former Cadet Leader jailed for historic abuse.

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Simon Taplin, 64, of Springfield Close, Lavant, was sentenced to four and a half years’ imprisonment when he appeared before Portsmouth Crown Court on 3 June. 

He had been found guilty on 20 February 2024 of two counts of indecently assaulting a girl under the age of 16. 

An investigation was launched in September 2020, after a report by a third party was made to Sussex Police alleging that a woman had been sexually abused by Taplin as a child. 

His victim, who cannot be identified, met him at cadets whilst she was a teenager, where he used his position as a leader to abuse her. Taplin continued to abuse her over the next four years.

While the investigation was underway, another female victim of Taplin bravely came forward and stated she was also abused as a Cadet at around the same time by Taplin.

In addition to being imprisoned, Taplin was put on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

Detective Constable Jason Berney, of the Sussex Police Safeguarding Investigations Unit said: “I would like to express my gratitude for the bravery of the victims who came forward and gave evidence to police and in court.

“This bravery has secured Taplin’s sentence and it means a man who abused his power to take advantage of girls is now behind bars.

“I hope that any victims of sexual abuse are encouraged to come forward to report any crime or wrongdoing. We will investigate, no matter how long ago it was.”