May 2017

Man jailed for six years for grooming and taking sexual advantage of an underage girl

A sex offender who groomed, attacked and took sexual advantage of an underage girl was jailed for six years today.

Tony Seed, 23, had sex with the younger girl and she consented, believing she was ‘in love’ with him, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, later realised she was not old enough for what was happening to her.

He became abusive, controlling and violent, once grabbing the vulnerable teenager by the throat and pinning her against a wall.

In one assault, he kicked and punched her, pinning her to the floor and telling her if she did not have sex with him he would rape her.

He only stopped when he was told police had been called, the court was told.

Seed committed the crimes against the girl several years ago but she decided not to press charges at the time.

They did not come to light until, unusually, Seed himself made a confession to police in 2015.

Fearing the girl was about to make a complaint, he walked into Middlesbrough police station and told a PC what he had done.

But he was silent in police interviews then denied any sexual activity.

The girl endured months of anxiety and sleepless nights fearing coming to court, before he finally pleaded guilty on his trial date.

Seed, of Penrith Road, Berwick Hills, Middlesbrough, admitted two charges of sexual activity with a child and one of assault with intent to rape.

His four previous convictions included an assault on a victim.

Yvonne Taylor, defending, said: “Anthony Seed is extremely remorseful for his actions.

“And through me today he would ask that his sincere apologies be relayed to (the young woman).

“He hangs his head in shame.

“By his pleas, albeit on the day of trial, she hasn’t had to go through the trauma of giving evidence and being cross-examined.”

She said Seed formed a deeper and stronger relationship with his mother since his crimes emerged, she supported him and had problems with members of the public.

She added he isolated himself to avoid negative influences and rarely went out.

Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, told Seed: “You took advantage of that young person. She was at the time vulnerable.

“She mistakenly believed she was in love with you and you took advantage of that as well.

“You groomed her. You groomed her by exposing her to alcohol and subjected her to your will by your controlling and violent conduct.”

Seed was jailed for six years.

He was given a sexual harm prevention order banning him from contact with the young woman or girls under 16 and he will be on the sex offenders’ register, both indefinitely.

Two charges of rape were left to lie on the court file.

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