May 2017

Man jailed after getting girls aged 12 and 13 drunk at woodland in Pershore and kissing

A 21-year-old man who persuaded two young girls to meet him in woodland and kissed them after getting them drunk has been jailed.

A jury at Worcester Crown Court found Zachary Brant guilty of two sex offences against the girls – one aged 12 and the other 13 – by kissing them, but cleared him of four other charges relating to any further sexual activity.

Brant had arranged online to meet the girls in a wooded area in Pershore in the late afternoon of Saturday, December 5, 2015, Samantha Crabb, prosecuting, told the jury during the week-long trial.

He took along a half-full litre bottle of vodka and three bottles of Lucozade already laced with vodka and the girls got drunk.

After he had left because he thought heir parents might be looking for them, the older girl called her mother.

The 12-year-old also sent a message saying “Help us, we don’t know where we are.”

They were found nearby at about 7.15pm with mud and leaves on their clothes and the older girl had been sick on her legs.

Brant denied all the charges and was found not guilty of two counts of sexual activity with a child, inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and sexual assault of a child under 13.

He was found guilty of sexual activity with a child and sexual activity with a child under 13.

He told the jury the girls had said he was “hot” and had been trying to kiss him but he had stopped them.

He said they had snatched the alcohol from him.

After the verdicts, Nicholas Smith, defending, told the court Brant, of Ransom Avenue, Worcester, had told him he was a talented footballer who had been with Birmingham, Coventry and Swindon as a youth player and worked occasionally as a football coach.

At the time of the offences, he was living in Pershore and had been drinking a lot.

“He realises what he did was wrong and he has been a fool,” Mr Smith said.

Judge Robert Juckes said Brant had “lied from start to finish” and the offence was made worse by the fact that he had taken along alcohol.

“You spent some time on Facebook trying to make contact with these girls knowing how young they were,” the judge told Brant.

His advances were sexually motivated and he persuaded the girls to meet him for a drink in a place he knew would be isolated, the judge said.

“You were wholly responsible for the dangerous condition they ended up in,” the judge told him.

He said the 13-year-old had been “so inebriated she could not stand or see” and had no memory of what had happened.

He gave Brant a total of 18 months custody and ordered him to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

He was also given a sexual harm prevention order banning him from unauthorised contact with girls under 16.