A University of Sheffield student has been jailed for six years for a string of sexual offences.

Solomon Tarling, 22, of Common Lane, Laughton, was convicted and sentenced at Lewes Crown Court, with the six-year sentence being handed down on Friday 26 April.

The defendant was convicted of rape, sexual assault and assault by penetration, with the offences occurring over a four-year period. Two of the offences occurred in East Sussex, while one happened in Sheffield while he was at the University.

Lewes Crown Court was told that Tarling texted two of the victims two days after the offences, in an effort to stop them going to the police, the Eastbourne Herald reported.

His victims, who are entitled to lifetime anonymity, bravely relived the offences in court, and one told of how she had been suffering from “nightmares and flashbacks”.

Chris Hewertson, prosecuting, said Tarling used alcohol to facilitate the offences.

However, mitigating, David Emanuel QC, said: “There was not pre-planning before [the offending] actually began, which might cast drinking in a different light.

“Yes he was part of the drinking with them that ended up with them being drunk but to ascertain that the use of alcohol was to facilitate that offence is very difficult for the Crown to be sure of in this case.”

The defence barrister added that Tarling was capable of change, and intended to be a force for good.

Mark Heywood QC, the recorder, spoke of how Tarling took ‘complete advantage’ of alcohol, referring particularly to the Sheffield offence. He sentenced Tarling to six years in prison, and he will also be on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Constable Andrew Lawrence said South Yorkshire Police had worked closely with East Sussex’s police force, and thanked all three victims for coming forward to give evidence.

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