June 2017

Child abuser who groomed girl with cannabis jailed for four years

An abuser who used a ‘carrot and stick’ strategy to groom a 14-year-old for under age sex has been jailed for four years.

Allan Sherlock gave the girl cannabis and gifts and carried on a two year affair when she was under the age of consent but became violent when she tried to resist his advances

He sent threatening messages when she started a relationship with a boy of her own age, including one to him with a picture of a baseball bat and the caption ‘see if she still loves you with half a face’.

Sherlock repeatedly had sex with the girl when she was 14 and 15 and he was living at Dartmouth and Totnes.

He first met her on the Queen Elizabeth Drive estate in Paignton, which he compared to the television comedy series Shameless.

Sherlock, aged 30, of Parkers Close, Totnes, and formerly of Jubilee Close, Dartmouth, denied but was convicted of four counts of sexual activity with a child after a trial earlier this month

He was jailed for four years by Recorder Mr Ignatius Hughes, QC, who told him: “She was a vulnerable child, although it is right to say she had her own problems before you met her and was skipping school.

“You groomed her and to a degree coerced her to submit to a sexual relationship by giving her cannabis and gifts. There was a mixture of that and ill treatment and abuse of one sort or another.

“It would be fair to say your approach was one of carrot and stick towards a vulnerable person over whom you exercised mental control.”

During a four day trial earlier this month the girl said Sherlock befriended her by giving her cannabis and they started a consensual relationship when she was 13 or 14.

She said it turned sour after he moved to Totnes shortly before her 16th birthday because he became possessive and controlling. After she left him, her new boyfriend received text threats.