Man jailed for grooming two young girls

A MAN who preyed sexually on under-aged girls has been jailed for four and a half years.

Neil Gregory Robinson “groomed” the first girl through social media, starting around her 13th birthday and continuing until she believed he was her boyfriend, said Recorder Toby Hedworth QC.

The girl was 15 when Robinson carried out sex acts with her. He had been 21 when he first contacted her and she had told him she was 13.

When he was arrested for that crime, he was bailed on condition he had no contact with girls under 16. But then he befriended another girl, knowing she was 15. When she was drunk, he had sex with her at a friend’s house.

Before the court case at York Crown Court he had received two cautions relating to child abduction.

Robinson, formerly of Olympia Crescent in Selby, denied a series of sexual assault charges until Monday this week, when he was due to stand trial.

He then pleaded guilty to one offence of sexual activity with each girl after asking through his barrister to indicate the maximum sentence he would receive.

The judge said his guilty pleas were his main mitigation.

“Both victims have difficult, troubled backgrounds and whilst that aggravates your offending, on the other side your pleas did prevent either girl having to go through the ordeal of giving evidence against you.”

In addition to the four and a half year sentence, Robinson was put on the sex offenders’ register for life and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order, also for life, which forbids him from sleeping or staying in the same house as, or contacting any girl under 16 without the express permission of social services. It also bans him from using the internet without the knowledge of the police.

For Robinson, Michael Greenhalgh said: “He has struggled to come to terms with the offences. He regrets what he has done. He expresses a degree of remorse to the victims.”

Since his guilty pleas on Monday, he had been the subject of comments on social media and been approached in public. After he was charged, he had had to leave the animal management course he was studying. Since then, he had been doing voluntary work.

After he served his sentence, he would be very careful how he conducted himself in future relationships.