A paedophile who sexually abused young boys between 1997 and 2001 has been jailed for 30 years. 

Brett Sitch, 52, was convicted of 12 charges after a lengthy investigation uncovered the abuse of five children in Gosport.

The probe, led by Hampshire Constabulary's Operation Amberstone team was launched on January 9, 2020, when one of his victims, now an adult man, told police he had been abused one or twice a week by Sitch over two years. 

This took place at an address in Gosport.

Officers also spoke with other men who were believed to have been abused as children.

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Some reported that Sitch, of Hammond Road, Fareham had encouraged them to carry out sexual acts upon him and to play 'dares' which involved them having to commit indecent acts on the other boys. 

He was charged with ten counts of indecent assault of a boy under the age of 16 and two counts of inciting a boy under the age of 14 to commit an act of gross indecency. 

Sitch denied all the abuse but was found guilty of the offences on December 7 after a two-week trial at Portsmouth Crown Court. 

Appearing at the same court for sentencing today (March 22), he was jailed for 30 years. 

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DC Sam Couchman, from Operation Amberstone, said: “What these children, now grown men, experienced at such a young age was appalling.

“The bravery shown by the victims in this case has been commendable. I want to praise them for the courage they have shown through the investigation, and for talking to Police about what had happened to them to help bring Sitch to justice."

“Sitch completely took advantage of these children, using the façade of dares to mask his abuse and normalise his disturbing sexual behaviour.

“The survivors of this abuse found their voice, and because of this he now can’t harm another child.

"I want survivors of abuse to know that if they find the courage to speak out, they will be listened to and supported.”

Amberstone is a specialist team of officers and staff dedicated to investigating allegations of rape and serious sexual abuse, and supporting victims through the criminal justice process.

A spokesperson said: "We want to encourage anyone who has been affected by child sexual abuse to contact police on 101, where you can speak to an officer in confidence.

"We recognise that not everyone has the confidence to talk to police about what they have experienced. Please be reassured that there are other services available that can offer you specialist support to help you deal with the impact of abuse.

"For information and contact details relating to sexual abuse support services, you can visit our dedicated web page: https://www.hampshire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/rsa/rape-and-sexual-assault/support-for-victims-of-rape-and-sexual-assault/

"You can also find out more about how to report, and seek support for child abuse here: https://www.hampshire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/caa/child-abuse/

"Alternatively, contact Child Line on 0800 11 11, or if you are an adult who has been affected, you can call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000."