Man jailed for groping sleeping teen boy in Devon home
A convicted sex offender has been jailed for sexually touching a teenage boy who fell asleep after drinking tequila at his Devon home.
Lee Nash put the teenager to bed in his spare room but then put his hand inside his underwear as he slept on the pretext of plugging in a mobile phone.
The victim was temporarily homeless and had been offered a place to stay by Nash, who had befriended him two years before.
Nash has a previous conviction for an identical assault on a sleeping 15-year-old boy when he was a football coach in 2008 and plied a group of young players with drink.
After moving to Devon he started inviting older teenage boys to his home in Bideford where they drank alcohol and took valium, Exeter Crown Court was told.
He was subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which banned him from contact with boys under 16, but the group who he mixed with were all aged 16 to 19.
Nash, aged 34, formerly of Watkins Way, Bideford, but now living in Surrey, admitted sexual assault and was jailed for two years by Recorder Mr Ignatius Hughes, QC.
He told him:”I accept you have made significant steps to avoid offending and not to express your sexuality in an unlawful way. However, you created an environment in which the risk factors were sky high and came to fruition.
“The probation report says you pose a high risk of serious harm to people like this victim. There was a significant disparity in age and in my judgment the victim was vulnerable because of his circumstances.
“He was drunk, he was in your home, and he was practically naked.”
Miss Janice Eagles, prosecuting, said Nash had known the victim for about two years and at the time of the offence in June had offered him a place to live because he had nowhere else to go.
The victim had invited a female friend to Nash’s house where he gave them both tequila, which resulted in the victim becoming very drunk. The guest left and he went to bed in a spare room.
Miss Eagles said:”He recalls during the night being touched by Nash on the thigh about five times. He moved around to show he was awake. On three to five occasions Nash put his hand inside his boxer shorts.
“It caused him to sit bolt upright and ask what Nash was doing. He said he was plugging in the victim’s mobile phone charger. He replied ‘no you’re not’.
“Nash started to apologise. The victim was shocked and angry and left the house. When he was arrested Nash said he did not know why he had done it and needed help.
“In our view there was a strong element of grooming. The victim described Nash as his ‘best mate’. He is still very upset. He told the police he thought Nash wanted to help him but now thought he just wanted to get inside his pants.”
Miss Eagles said Nash’s previous conviction was in 2008 for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old footballer when he was a coach.
The boy had been drinking and awoke to find Nash touching him.