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Man jailed for historic sexual offences against child

A Hartcliffe man has been jailed for 12 years after being found guilty of subjecting a child to years of sexual abuse.

Matthew Mills’ offending began when he was a juvenile, but he continued to inflict sexual abuse on his victim into his adult years. 

A seven-day trial began on Monday 25 April after he denied committing several sexual offences, but the jury this week found the 36-year-old guilty of all eight counts:

  • Two counts of gross indecency with a child
  • Two counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child
  • Two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity
  • Attempted rape of a child
  • Assault by penetration

Mills, of Briscoes Avenue, was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 5 May) to 12 years’ imprisonment with an extra two additional years to be served on licence. He was also been given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and indefinite notification requirement.

Mills’ offences were described as utterly vile and reflected grooming behaviour, by Judge Peter Blair.

Judge Blair, in sentencing, said: “The child began to understand that this was wrong through sex education classes at secondary school. “She has had to come to court and relive her experiences which is hugely distressing for her. 

“I bear in mind that you (Mills) were immature and a young man at the time of these offences. This lasted a period of time when you knew what you were doing was wrong.”

DC Lucy Bryant, the officer in the case who is part of Avon and Somerset Police’s child protection team, said: “The courage of the victim has been incredible throughout the police investigation and trial. A dangerous offender is now behind bars because of her bravery in reporting it to police and supporting this prosecution.  

“For years Matthew Mills pretended to be someone he wasn’t. But the truth is now known to everyone and he has shown no remorse for what he put his victim through. 

“She herself has said that she is thankful to the police and prosecution team. She has lived with this crippling trauma all her life and feels like she has finally escaped the prison he has put her in; now it is finally his turn. 

“We hope any victim of sexual abuse who hears about this story finds the confidence to talk to police about what happened, as we will investigate and help them access any support they wish to receive.  

“This kind of result shows that even in historical cases we can and do obtain successful results. Victims need not suffer in silence because of the monstrous actions of their abusers, like Matthew Mills.”

If you’ve been a victim of sexual abuse, no matter how long ago it was committed, please call us on 101.

If you don’t want to speak to the police you can contact another agency or charity.

More information and contact details can be found on the microsite This is not an Excuse.