October 2016

Ex-community centre caretaker ‘stole a girl’s childhood’ in premeditated sex crimes

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A former community centre caretaker who groomed, lured and molested a naive schoolgirl “stole her childhood”, a court heard.

Craig Oldfield, 23, showed no emotion as he was jailed for eight years for a string of sex crimes at Teesside Crown Court today.

He went to prison still refusing to accept his guilt after he lured the underage girl into his home and a field to take sexual advantage of her.

He sent her hundreds of messages as he groomed her, told her to delete messages in a bid to dispose of evidence, and encouraged her to recruit a friend for a “threesome”.

Judge Simon Phillips QC said the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, repeatedly refused his sexual advances to no avail.

He said Oldfield “would not take no for an answer”, pulled her towards him and forced his hands on to her.

“This was persistent, premeditated misconduct,” said the judge.

First, Oldfield used lies to trick the girl into his Middlesbrough home and bedroom. “This naive girl has said she had no idea what you had in mind,” the judge added.

He said Oldfield, a caretaker at the Acklam Green Centre in Middlesbrough at the time, asked for sex again and again, and she refused.

He told how Oldfield made her carry out a sex act, undressed her and pushed her to the bed he shared with his pregnant fiancée.

He had unprotected sex with the girl while she “froze” in fear, unable to speak or do anything. She said she “blanked everything out” during the ordeal, her first sexual experience.

She was sick when she returned home, was scared of becoming pregnant, but said nothing at the time.

Oldfield persisted in grooming her, exchanging 550 texts in a two-day period, sending her a picture of his bedroom and getting her to send him pictures of herself.

Then he got her to walk into a field with him, where he asked for sexual activity again. “She said no. You did it anyway,” said the judge.

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“You showed an utter disregard for her wishes and her feelings, and for the fact that she was a child.”

The crimes came to light when some of the messages were found.

Oldfield begged the girl not to tell the police, messaging her: “Please don’t. You will kill my life.”

He also told her at one point: “I’m going to say that my Facebook had been hacked.”

The victim’s mother said in a statement Oldfield’s crimes turned their lives upside down, adding: “He stole my daughter’s childhood.”

Oldfield, formerly of Basselton Lane, Thornaby , denied all wrongdoing, stood trial, said none of the sexual activity happened and accused the victim of lying.

A jury convicted him on all five counts – two of sexual activity with a child, two of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one of causing child sex exploitation – his first offences.

Judge Phillips told him: “To this day you do not accept any responsibility whatsoever.”

Oldfield, a dad-of-two still said to have the support of his partner, was deemed to pose a high risk to children in the community.

He was jailed for eight years.

He was given a sexual harm prevention order banning unsupervised contact with under-16s and a restraining order banning him from contacting the victim, going near her home or searching for her online, both indefinite.

He will be on the sex offenders’ register for life.