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Man handed 20-year jail sentence after being found guilty of child sex offences

Custody image of Matthew Dobie
Matthew Dobie

A man has been jailed for 20 years after being convicted of a number of child sexual offences.

Matthew Dobie was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on Friday 18 February.

In December, he was found guilty by majority verdict of two counts of raping a child and four counts of sexual activity with a child.

His offences were carried out on a single victim a number of years ago and reported to the police in 2020.

Dobie was handed a 20-year sentence with a further four years to be served on licence. He will be required to serve a minimum of two-thirds of his custodial sentence.

The 47-year-old, who used to live in South Gloucestershire before moving to Cambridge, will be placed on the sex offenders register and subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

Judge Julian Lambert described the abuse Dobie inflicted upon the victim as ‘despicable’.

In sentencing Dobie, he said: “The extent of the damage which you did is utterly numbing. The damage done is irreparable. There is no question but that you knew what you were doing was wrong and wicked in the extreme.

“You chose your own corrupt sexual pleasures and thought nothing of the ruination of a young life.

“Few words can properly describe the depth of you degeneracy, few words can do you justice. You are truly a monster.”

Officer in the case DC Melanie Downton said: “I would like to thank the victim and their family who came forward in this case and commend their immense bravery in engaging with the police investigation.” 

“Dobie accepted no responsibility for his deplorable actions and I believe this sentence reflects both the serious and impactful nature of the offending and the fact that the perpetrator did everything in his power to escape accountability for his crimes.” 

DC Melanie Downton

Suzie Butler, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS South West, said: “The victim showed immense courage in speaking out against the perpetrator of these awful crimes and supporting the prosecution.

“I am very pleased that we were able to deliver justice for the victim in this case. The sentence handed down is wholly appropriate given the degree of harm that the defendant has caused.

“We want every victim of sexual assault to have the confidence to come forward to report abuse, in the knowledge that support is available and that the police and CPS are committed to securing justice.”

Support for victims of sexual abuse

Legally, any victim of sexual abuse is entitled to not be publicly identified from the moment they report a crime to the police. We can also help them gain access to any support services they may benefit from.

Temporary Detective Inspector Hadley Rides hopes the significant sentence handed out to Dobie will give confidence to sexual abuse victims to report what has happened to them.

He said: “I would reiterate our gratitude to the victim for their courage throughout this lengthy process. 

“This investigation was managed by our dedicated child protection team, and I would like to thank each member of the team for working relentlessly and, in particular, DC Downton for her diligence in gathering the evidence required to secure the conviction of a predatory offender.

“Our message to any victim is that no matter how long ago it happened, you will be believed, your case will be taken seriously and we will do everything we can to obtain the evidence required to secure a conviction.”

If you’ve been a victim of sexual abuse, recent or non-recent, you don’t have to speak to the police. You can self-refer to The Bridge, a Sexual Assault Referral Centre available 24/7 365 days a year. Visit their website at thebridgecanhelp.org.uk or call 0117 342 6999.

You can also visit thisisnotanexcuse.org for details of charities and organisations who are experts in supporting victims of sexual offences.