July 2017

Man jailed after paying boy, 14, for sex after meeting on dating website Fabguy

A 61-year-old Shurdington man who paid a 14-year-old boy for sex after meeting him on website Fabguy has been jailed for five years.

At Gloucester Crown Court Christopher Gardiner of Yarnolds, Shurdington admitted he sexually assaulted the boy four times and had on at least two occasions incited the youth to perform a sex act on him.

It was thanks to classmates of the boy the offences came to light as they reported their suspicions he was in a relationship with a man.

As well as being jailed Gardiner was ordered to sign the sex offender’s register for an indefinite period.

He has also been slapped with an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

Ray Tully, prosecuting, said the offences took place between August 1 2016 and February 19 of this year.

Mr Tully said it was thanks to fellow pupils at the boy’s school that Gardiner’s abuse came to light.

“There were reports the boy was in a relationship with a man and that there were gifts,” he said.

“When spoken to the first time in March, the victim said he ‘got stuff in return,’ for doing the defendant sexual favours.”

But he would not name Gardiner initially but later did so, leading to Gardiner’s arrest.

“He gave a confusing and contradictory account of what happened” Mr Tully said.

“He said that he had met a ‘lad’ on Fabguy, a dating app and website. The victim’s profile originally said he was 21, then that was amended to 18.

“The defendant said he had been warned by other users the victim was underage.”

Mr Tully said this did not deter Gardiner and he gave the victim his credit card details to allow him to make purchases.

“He was hoping for a sexual relationship. He paid £50 to him. The defendant denied he paid for sex, but did say that he liked bondage, and younger guys, but denied knowing he was 14.”

Mr Tully said Gardiner gave officers “a confusing account of his own knowledge of the age of consent.”

Gardiner also admitted giving the victim £200 in total and said they would meet up “once or twice a week.”

But Steve Young, representing Gardiner, argued he “did not set out to target anyone.

“He is 61 and never been in trouble with the police before. He is of positive good character.

“He entered guilty pleas and made admissions in police interview.

“Pretty serious and clear admissions. He gave frank and honest answers to the questions of the police.

“When he contacted the victim through the site, he believed he was only contacting adults. He believed the people who he was exchanging messages with would be adults.”

“He is pretty full of genuine remorse to the victim and his family, and he has never wavered from his intention of entering a guilty plea.

“He is bi-sexual. He has had sexual relationships with adult males he met online.”

Mr Young said that because of the lengthy prison sentence Gardiner faced, he had lost his job, even though his employers were keen to keep him on.

“He stands to lose a lot” Mr Young said, “he expresses apology and remorse to the victim. He continued to have contact with him once he knew his age. He tells me ‘It will never happen again. I’ve learnt my lesson’.”

But Judge Michael Cullum said: “What is of note is an increase in seriousness of behaviour. Classic grooming if you like.

Sentencing Gardiner to five years, he said: “You groomed a boy into child prostitution. At the time you touched him you knew it was unlawful.

“You were paying for sex with a child, not a relationship. It was business. Your money for your pleasure. It must have been damaging for him.

“Obviously this was grooming behaviours. What you paid increased. There is a significant disparity in your ages. No doubt that was part of the attraction.

“I accept that you didn’t go to that website to seek a child. But you found a child, held sway over him and took the matter further.

“There is a real risk of you causing serious harm in the future, and so I make a sexual harm prevention order.”

 

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