Southend man sentenced for sexual offences against a child

A mother has spoken of her experiences on the day a Southend man was jailed for sexually abusing her daughter.

Phillip Hull, 28 of Hawtree Close, appeared at Basildon Crown Court today (Thursday, April 11) where he was sentenced to over 10 years after pleading guilty to multiple sexual offences against a child.

The investigation was managed by Essex Police’s Child Abuse Investigation Team (CAIT), who arrested Hull on November 21 2022, two days after receiving a report of sexual abuse.

The victim reported multiple accounts of sexual assault, which began when she was eight years old and Hull was 20.

Following extensive enquiries, Hull was charged with attempted rape of a girl under 13, two counts of sexual assault of a girl under 13, two counts of causing a girl to engage in sexual activity, observing a person doing a private act, engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, engaging in sexual communication with a child and four counts of assault a girl under 13 by touching.

Hull pleaded not guilty to attempted rape of a girl under 13, two counts of causing a girl to engage in sexual activity, voyeurism and engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

This plea was accepted by the judge and Hull appeared at Basildon Crown Court on Thursday, 11 April where he was sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison. The judge ordered him to serve at least two thirds of that sentence.

He was also issued with a restraining order against the victim for life, was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life and issued with a lifelong Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

The mother of the victim has spoken about the impact that Hull’s crime has had on her daughter.

“When my daughter told me what happened in November 2022, it was shocking and I 100 per cent believed her.

“The support which has enveloped our family has been amazing. My daughter was introduced to a CHISVA (Children & Young Peoples and family Independent Sexual Violence Advocate) from Southend-on-Sea Rape Crisis. They have been able to provide regular sessions, working with the police to help us through this process.

“I never thought we would have to go through this as a family. I had a feeling in my gut that something was wrong, but my daughter didn’t exhibit any of the usual signs of someone who is being sexually abused. When she told me, it was like the final piece to a puzzle and everything started to make sense.

“I wanted to push my daughter on to get justice but knew that I had to be patient and let her make decisions throughout the process. She does not regret her decision to report and I’m so proud of her. All I want for her, is that she goes on to live her life and do whatever she wants to do. She can never get back the childhood and the teenage years which she has lost, but we will get through it.

“I want to encourage anyone out there who is living with this as a family to report and push through these challenges. There is a lot of support out there available and reaching out for help is nothing to be ashamed of. If you’re going through something which I went through, stay strong, trust the investigation process which can be long and make it clear to your children that you will never judge them.”

Investigating officer in the case, PC Harris said “The victim has demonstrated incredible strength and I hope she can move forward and be proud of her resilience.

“The victim’s family have been incredible throughout the investigation. We cannot underestimate the detrimental impact that these crimes have, not just on the victim but on those around them.

“Their strength has put a dangerous man behind bars and unable to harm any other children.”

Support is there for anyone affected by rape and sexual abuse, and no victim or survivor is alone. Synergy Essex provides specialist support for victims and survivors of rape and sexual abuse of all ages and all genders across Essex, Thurrock and Southend.

Synergy Essex is a partnership of rape and sexual abuse centres in Essex: CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse), SERICC Rape and Sexual Abuse Specialist Service and Southend-on-Sea Rape Crisis (SOS Rape Crisis). Synergy Essex is independent from the police and provides support for victims and survivors throughout their journey.

Victims and survivors can self-refer, or be referred by a parent, partner, friend or professional and can access specialist emotional support, counselling and advocacy. For victims and survivors who report to the police, Synergy Essex provides an Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) service, providing support throughout the criminal justice process.

For more information visit the Synergy Essex.