November 2015

Jehovah’s Witness spared jail over grooming girl

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A Jehovah’s Witness who groomed a girl has walked free from court.

Richard Ogilvie was given a suspended prison sentence after a judge ruled his conduct was ‘bad, but not as bad as some cases we see before these courts’.

The victim’s father said he ‘understands and accepts’ the sentence and hopes the sex offender treatment Ogilvie receives will prevent another child and family suffering at his hands.

“My daughter is damaged,” the father added. “But with the help of our friends and family we will make her better.”

Ogilvie, 32, of Scott Grove, Hartlepool, was convicted last month by a jury at Teesside Crown Court of sexual grooming of the girl.

He was acquitted of inciting the same child to commit sexual activity.

The court heard Ogilvie sent the girl a series of texts, telling her he loved her to bits and wanted to snog her.

Christine Egerton, defending, said in mitigation: “He has been punished by the loss of his job, and the knowledge of the conviction by those in his community.

“He has not sought to hide what has happened, and accepts the jury’s verdict.”

The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, sentenced Ogilvie to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years, including a two-year supervision and sex offender treatment order.

The judge said: “This grooming was bad enough, but it was grooming for kissing and cuddling, not grooming for penetrative sex.

“The grooming took place over a limited time of about a week.

“It is better for society that you receive lengthy supervision and treatment, rather than be released after a few months from a short custodial sentence with little supervision and treatment.”

Ogilvie was made the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order limiting his contact with children.

He is also banned from contacting his victim, and he must register as a sex offender for 10 years.

October 2015

Jehovah’s Witness groomed girl for sex

A Jehovah’s Witness is facing years in prison after he was convicted of grooming a girl for sex.

Richard Ogilvie sent the girl a series of suggestive text messages and described her as ‘indescribably gorgeous’, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Ogilvie, 32, hugged and kissed the girl after buying her an ice cream at McDonald’s.

A jury at Teesside Crown Court heard he drove the girl to an industrial estate in Hartlepool to eat the ice cream, rather than sit in the restaurant, or in his car in the car park.

Ogilvie said he needed to visit businesses on the estate to follow up on Jehovah’s Witness magazine drops, even though it was a Sunday.

The court was told Ogilvie rested his hands on her lap during a car journey which he claimed was because she liked to operate the gear stick.

“We say the defendant’s intention was clear,” said Sam Andrews, prosecuting. “He wanted to have sexual relations with her.

“He told her he loved her ‘more than her parents’.

“In one text he wrote: ‘I won’t sleep now sweetheart, going to try and dream about you and me together – big squishy hugs and kisses gorgeous girl’.”

The jury heard Ogilvie sent other texts saying he loved her to bits, but they would have to be careful her parents didn’t find out about their relationship.

Another text read: “We want to do more hugging, we can snog next time.”

Ogilvie, of Scott Grove, Hartlepool, denied sexual grooming, and denied inciting a child to take part in sexual activity.

He said the girl was a liar who had made up most of her story.

The jury found him guilty of sexual grooming after a trial lasting four days.

He was found not guilty of the second charge.

Judge Simon Bourne Arton adjourned the case for the preparation of a probation report.

Ogilvie was bailed to return to court to be dealt with on a date to be fixed.

The judge told Ogilvie he should take the granting of bail as ‘no indication’ of the sentence.

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