November 2016

Appeal judges jail Stowmarket sex offender given suspended sentence in Suffolk

A child sex offender from Suffolk has been jailed for three years – after his original two-year suspended sentence was quashed by the Court of Appeal.

Judges sentenced Dominic Gormer, 20, from Stowmarket, to a three-year prison term for sexual offences against a 13-year-old girl.

Gormer was 19 in September, when Ipswich Crown Court heard how he had sex with the girl after exchanging hundreds of messages over Facebook.

He was originally given two years’ detention in a young offenders institution, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work.

Gormer, who had no previous convictions, was also made the subject of a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and told to sign the sex offenders register.

However, after a referral by Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP, the Court of Appeal quashed the original suspended sentence and imposed an immediate custodial sentence of three years.

Speaking after the hearing, barrister and MP Mr Buckland said: “This was a serious offence carried out by a much older man who sexually groomed the victim. I am pleased the court has agreed he should spend time in jail.”

The police became involved in the case after the girl’s mother discovered the Facebook messages.

Prosecuting Gormer in September, John Farmer said the messages had become increasingly graphic.

Gormer, who lived in School Meadow at the time of his prosecution, admitted meeting a child following sexual grooming in August last year, and sexual activity with a child.

At the time, he was also given a 180 day rehabilitation activity requirement, ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge, and banned from contacting the victim for five years.

In September, sentencing judge Martyn Levett told the court he accepted that Gormer had initially refused to get involved with the girl because of her age, and that the girl had initiated contact.