A Portslade barman has been jailed for 16 years after a jury found him guilty of 11 counts of abusing two girls.
John Guile, 49, also known as John Gosling, was given a 17-year sentence to include an extra year on licence at Lewes Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 14 September).
Guile will be expected to serve more than 10 years before he can be considered for parole.
He abused an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old girl some years apart over a period stretching from July 2009 to April 2019. Neither girl knew the other.
During his trial at Hove Crown Court in May, the jury was told that one of the girls targeted by Guile was now 26 and the other was still in her teens.
The former barman worked at two Southwick pubs – the now-closed Pilot and the Romans – and befriended one of his victims while at work.
He groomed and abused the first girl at a number of locations in Southwick, Portslade and Brighton. The other he abused while he was living in the Patcham area of Brighton.
After leaving the Pilot pub, which closed in 2010, he went on to work at the Romans although the management has since changed. Later, he was a window fitter and cleaning contractor.
He lived at the Romans pub, in Manor Hall Road, as well as in Abinger Road, Portslade, in Old Shoreham Road and in Midhurst Rise, Brighton.
The jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts on a series of charges including five counts of sexual activity with a child.
At Lewes Crown Court, Sarah Lindop, prosecuting, read a victim personal statement prepared by one of the girls, Louise.
She said: “Not only did he take away my innocence, but my teenage years and adult years. I still have nightmares and flashbacks because of what he did to me.
“John started abusing me when I was a young teenager. I was at a vulnerable age and at the weakest point in my life.”
Louise spoke of having been scarred and how Guile had changed her life forever, leaving her feeling panic and humiliation at times and with mental health problems, social phobia and emotional numbness. At times, she had even had suicidal feelings.
She said: “Emotionally the abuse has torn me to pieces. You made me feel like a piece of meat. You decided to make me your prey.”
She also said: “I ask to be given the gift of knowing exactly where John is at all times so that I can truly live – and I ask that the public be given that gift as well.
“Do not devalue my life so much as to ask me to share the time he deserves to serve for my body and my life, at the same time as his other victim.
“She and I are two separate individuals that he exploited at separate times. This is a crime against individual human beings.
“Do not continue the course of history where women’s lives matter less by grouping us into some cattle, the same way John herded his victims – as disposable.”
During his trial, Guile did not go into the witness box to give evidence himself. He denied that he had sexually abused either of the complainants.
At Lewes Crown Court yesterday, Miss Lindop said that some of the offences carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Andrew Selby, who defended Guile, said: “He has been convicted of immensely serious offences and he will be punished accordingly if he serves a determinate sentence.”
Guile was sentenced by Judge Stephen Mooney, who was also the trial judge and who said that he was a dangerous offender who posed a serious risk to children.
Judge Mooney told Guile that he had been convicted of 11 offences against two children and said: “Both bear the mental scars of what you did to them.
“Your selfish actions have impacted on the lives of those you abused. All you were interested in was sex. You treated both of these children as objects to provide you with sexual gratification.”
The judge jailed Guile for 16 years, ordered him to serve a further year on licence and told him to register as a sex offender for life.
He imposed a “sexual harm prevention order” and made an indefinite restraining order not to contact either victim.
After Guile was found guilty, Louise, said: “As a victim, you’re made to not want to come forward about these types of cases.
“It’s been a very overwhelming experience for everyone involved. I hope this story can encourage others to come forward. Our voice is never silent for long.”