March 2017

Paignton groomer jailed for groping boy

A sex attacker has been jailed for luring a 15-year-old boy into his home and groping him as they sat on a sofa.

Adrian Smith met the boy and offered to swap a mobile phone for his bicycle if he went to his flat in Paignton.

He took the opportunity to put his hands inside the boy’s trousers and touch his private parts but left a trace of DNA on the underwear.

Smith, aged 50, formerly of Fosse Way, Axminster, but now of Torbay Road, Paignton, denied sexual assault but was found guilty by a jury at a trial at Exeter Crown Court in January.

He was jailed for 14 months, suspended for two years, ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register for ten years and made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which forbids future contact with anyone under 16.

Judge Erik Salomonsen told him:”I accept you did not target the victim as a 15-year-old but you are 50 and he was a youth with a bicycle. That much was clear to you.

“I consider there was grooming. You were attracted to him and you knew what you were about. You wanted him in your flat for the purpose you carried through.

“The message has to go out that 50-year-old men should not befriend youths in cafes and commit offences against them.”

Mr Lee Bremridge, prosecuting, said:”Smith lured the boy back to his flat in Paignton with the offer of swapping a mobile phone for his bicycle.

“In the flat he pulled him onto his lap and put his hand down his trousers. He only stopped when the boy pretended to be receiving a call. It created a distraction and he was able to leave.

“The aggravating features are the age of the victim and there was a significant degree of planning.”