October 2016

Security guard who groomed schoolgirl has been jailed

A former security guard who groomed a 15-year-old girl has been jailed for 27 months.

He had initially denied there had been any relationship with the girl 

Mrs Hardy said: “The text messages [between them] paint a different picture of that relationship.

“They more than demonstrated there was a relationship between the two.

“The texts were very explicit, the vast majority of which were from him to her.”

Key pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to one count of sexual activity with a child and another count of sexual activity with a child on at least five occasions, both involving penetration with his penis.

He had initially denied the offences but changed his plea on the day he was due to stand trial.

Mr Simon Blakebrough, defending, said the age gap between Key and the 15-year-old was not a significant number of years.

“This is not a 40 or 50-year-old man with a very young child,” he said.

“He was 23 at the time with no previous convictions and as a result of committing these offences he has signed the sex offenders’ register.”

Mr Blakebrough said Key had lost his reputation and his job.

Summing up, Recorder Mr Peter Cooke said the victim’s age and the fact she was a schoolgirl were both perfectly clear to Key from the outset.

“The law prohibiting sexual activity with people under 16 is there to protect people of that age bracket,” he said.

“It is there to protect them not just from predatory older people, and I don’t regard you as a predator, but it’s there to protect vulnerable young people and the harm they can suffer.”

Mr Cooke said Key had put his own sexual gratification above potential harm to his victim and the fact what he was doing was against the law.

He said: “You’re not an ongoing menace to children or young people but you are someone who must pay for what has happened in the past.”