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Victims of Norwich sex offender Mark Smith praised for their 'immense courage' in speaking out

PUBLISHED: 11:17 07 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:17 07 March 2017

Mark Smith has been jailed for life for 29 counts of sexual offences against children

Mark Smith has been jailed for life for 29 counts of sexual offences against children

Archant

The NSPCC has praised the victims of a Norwich sex offender for their "immense courage" in speaking out.

Mark Smith was given a life sentence on Friday (March 3) after being convicted of a string of sexual offences against children dating back more than 30 years.

The 41-year-old, of Philadelphia Lane, pleaded guilty to a catalogue of crimes, spanning four decades and dating back to the 1980s.

He pleaded guilty to a total of 29 counts including rape, indecent assault, indecency with a child, sexual assault and possession of an indecent image of a child.

Today, an NSPCC spokesperson said: “Smith’s victims showed immense courage in speaking out. This case shows once again that all survivors of abuse must be listened to and supported should they come forward and seek justice for what happened to them, no matter how long ago it took place.

“Smith is a dangerous predator and the extent of his vile crimes over 30 years is truly shocking. He will rightly spend a long time behind bars for his sustained campaign of horrific abuse against children.

“It is vitally important that he undergoes treatment in prison so that he is hopefully not a danger to any child ever again.”

Smith appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Friday and was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve a minimum of 16 years.

He was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

The offences took place in North Yorkshire and Norwich between 1985 and 2015 and involved six victims, all under the age of 14.

Any victims of non-recent abuse or anyone concerned about a child can call the NSPCC’s helpline on 0808 800 5000. Children can call Childline anytime on 0800 1111.

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