April 2017: Steven Purchase will be released into the Arundel area of West Sussex today
Man jailed for sexually abusing seven-year-old girl
A man who sexually abused a seven-year-old girl and downloaded nearly 6,500 indecent images of children has been jailed.
Steven Purchase, of Severn Close, Sandhurst, was handed a seven and a half year prison sentence today after being convicted of inciting the girl to engage in sexual activity with him.
Reading Crown Court heard his seven-year-old victim had transformed from a “confident and fearless” little girl to “self-conscious, shy and nervous”.
Judge Angela Morris added the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had become very angry and confused since the incident which took place in July 2012.
During a trial, which began on Tuesday, February 4 this year, the court heard the incident had taken place when the girl stayed at 36-year-old Purchase’s house.
Judge Morris said: “It was after the family had been out for a meal together that matters came to light.
“She began behaving in an inappropriate way to her mother.”
The girl told the court she and Purchase had been naked in his living room when he persuaded her to perform a sex act on him.
After Purchase who worked in IT was arrested, police found two computers containing 6,449 indecent images of children aged between 12 months and 16 years.
Of the images, 91 were categorised as level four, 16 were level three, 602 were level two and 5,739 were level one.
There were no images categorised as level five, the most serious.
Sentencing Judge Morris said: “In your first interview you denied there was any material other than adult pornography.
“These images were knowingly downloaded onto your computer by you alone and for your own pleasure.”
The court also heard how the girl referred to Purchase as her boyfriend.
During trial the girl said she did so because he was a friend who was a boy but added Purchase had lied about not calling himself her boyfriend.
Judge Morris added: “You are a person who, until the age of 35, had a good character.
“You had a good life, a wife and a career in computing.
“I have read all the references which speak to your character.
“I accept there is another person above and beyond all this, a caring, generous and previously law-abiding man.
“But behind that character lies the one I have to deal with now.”
Purchase was sentenced to seven years for encouraging a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity which will run consecutively to a six month sentence for three counts of making indecent images of a child under 13.
He will also have both his computers destroyed and will be placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.
At a previous hearing Purchase was discharged of one count of sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 and another count of inciting a child under 13 to engage in a sexual activity.
Sandhurst man found guilty of child sex charge
A man who was convicted of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity is due to be sentenced next month
Steven Purchase, of Severn close, Sandhurst was convicted of the charge involving a child who was under the age of 13 years old following a trial at Reading crown court
The 36-year-old previously admitted to three counts of making indecent photographs of a child who was under the age of 13 years old
Following the trial he was discharged from one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one count of sexual assault on a child who was aged under 13 years old
Purchase will now be sentenced on March 21st at Reading crown court