A HEREFORD man has been jailed for five years for sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

Jarrod Matthews, of Belmont Road, was convicted of seven counts of engaging in penetrative sexual activity with a girl aged 13 to 15 years, and sentenced at Worcester Crown Court for the assaults which took place in 2018.

Detective Constable James Moore from Hereford CID which led the investigation said: "We welcome the sentencing of Jarrod Matthews who pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

“The victim has shown incredible bravery in coming forward, and although there may be more tough times ahead, I hope this sentence will help her have a sense of closure.

“I hope this conviction will encourage other victims of sexual assaults to speak out in order to gain the justice they deserve.

“We want victims to know that they can contact police in complete confidence, we will treat their reports seriously. If you have been a victim of sexual abuse, recently or in the past, please contact West Mercia Police on telephone 101.”

A West Mercia Police spokesperson added anyone who is a victim of any sexual assault who feels they may need support, or may not want to contact the police can contact the victim advice line which is a free, independent and confidential support service.

They can be reached by calling 0800 952 3000 or online at www.victimadviceline.org.uk.