December 2015

Man (53) ‘groomed and paid’ 10-year-old girl for sex

A MAN convicted of paying a young child for sex has been jailed for eight-and-a-half years.

Gary Speers, 53, closed his eyes but showed no emotion when the sentence was passed at Mold Crown Court on Friday.

Speers, of Yr Aber, Holywell, denied a total of 18 charges of rape of a girl under 13, assault by penetration of a girl under 13, paying for the sexual services of a child, and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He was convicted by the jury of three counts of paying the girl for sex, some by a majority, and was cleared of the other charges.

Judge Rhys Rowlands, who said it was a dreadfully serious case, ordered him to register with the police as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

An indefinite sexual harm prevention order was made to curb his future activities.

Speers, a man of good character, was told by the judge that his character was “flawed in a dreadful way”.

The victim had been groomed by him and he then paid her for sex.

Text messages which he had sent her, far from being jokes or “lavish banter” as he claimed, made it clear how he viewed the child.

The girl was vulnerable and but for the fact she had kept texts he had sent her, the judge said he may have “got away with your depravity”. As it was, he would now have to account for what he had done.

There were serious aggravating features including her young age, the fact that full intercourse took place, it was repeated behaviour and no precautions had been used, said Judge Rowlands.

“This is a truly dreadful case,” the judge told him.

“You treated her as some sort of common prostitute.”

Judge Rowlands said the girl was extremely vulnerable and he had no doubt that it would take her many years for her to struggle to try and get over it. There had been a significant disparity in age.

The text messages, he said, showed that Speers had been quite prepared to involve another individual in what was going on.

Owen Edwards, defending, said his client was a man of positive good character, a family man whose partner was standing by him at present.

The convictions would mean he would lose his job and his home would have to be sold.

But the defendant was the author of his own misfortune, said Mr Owen.

John Philpotts, prosecuting, said that police found texts the defendant had sent the victim.

Arrested and interviewed, Speers denied that anything sexual had taken place and claimed the texts police found were a joke.