Convicted child rapist caught by online child protection team

Update: Released and living in Beckenham

October 2006

Rapist who ‘groomed’ girl of 13 gets 8 years

kent

A judge at Maidstone Crown Court was told Robert Gray pretended to be a “blue-eyed blond” youth on the net

A 53-year-old man who raped a schoolgirl after posing as a teenager in an internet chatroom has been jailed for eight years.

Robert Gray was told by a judge at Maidstone Crown Court: “I am satisfied that you have a proclivity for grooming young girls.”

Judge Philip Statman added: “This case yet again highlights the dangers of the teenage chatroom, where adults can enter, lie about their age and arrange to meet young girls and, thereafter, sexually abuse them.”

The court heard how Gray, an electrician, pretended to be a “blue-eyed blond” youth on the net, so that he could groom his 13-year-old victim.

Alan Kent, prosecuting, said the girl, from Maidstone, sent a message to Gray asking ASL age, sex and location. She told him her name and said she was 14.

Capture

Gray said he was 17, his name was Robbie Gray and lived in Bromley.

“He suggested they meet,” Mr Kent told Maidstone Crown Court. “She agreed, expecting to meet a 17-year-old blond-haired blue-eyed boy.”

After meeting her at Larkfield Leisure Centre, Gray drove the girl, a virgin, to a remote spot and had sex with her.

She at first told him to stop, saying she was a virgin, but he continued. When she asked him why he was doing it, he replied: “Because I want to.”

The girl later told police she did not want to have sex with him and at no time consented. She added that she was ashamed to tell her mother.

Judge Statman told Gray, who admitted rape and sexual grooming, that he knew exactly what he was doing from start to finish.

“She was a young immature virgin and you manipulated her into meeting you, starting with lies told about your age,” he said.

“She was groomed by you over a substantial period of time. You used texts and calls to her to slowly carry out your careful process of grooming to its ultimate conclusion.”

After raping the girl Gray, of Rochester Avenue, Bromley, sent her a text saying he was sorry. But she wanted to stay friends with him and they met again. This time they argued and did not have sex.

“What you did to her, I am satisfied in my mind, will remain with her and close family for the rest of their lives,” he said.

Gray, who was said to have sent hundreds of texts and emails to other girls, was banned from working with children and will remain on the sex offenders’ register for life.

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