Pensioner from Huntingdon who groomed teen loses jail appeal
A pensioner jailed for grooming a vulnerable teenager for sex has lost his bid for freedom.
Graham Ferguson, 69, from Huntingdon, had been locked up for two years in June for illegal sexual activity with the girl, but appealed against the sentence.
He had groomed her, sending her text messages and making sexually-charged telephone calls.
Ferguson, of Sandwich Close, argued at the Criminal Appeal Court in London that he should have been given a suspended sentence which would have allowed him to walk free.
The court heard that Ferguson was of previous good character and that a probation officer had recommended a suspended sentence.
But Judge Peter Collier, sitting with Lord Justice Fulford and Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb, refused the appeal saying the two year term was not excessive or wrong in principle.
Judge Collier said the huge gap in age between the pair made Ferguson’s crimes more serious.
At one point, Ferguson had asked the victim for full sexual intercourse, but she had refused.
Judge Collier said: “The victim was, to some extent, vulnerable, and he obviously sensed her vulnerability and took advantage of it.
“There was an element of grooming. He ensured she removed the text messages they were exchanging to conceal evidence.”
Ferguson admitted three sex offences when he was jailed at Peterborough Crown Court in June.
The judge who sentenced him said the grooming and ongoing harm to the victim justified an immediate prison term.
The offences came to light when the victim had a panic attack and revealed what had happened.