July 2018

Pervert groomed schoolgirl before putting hand down her pyjama bottoms

Pervert John Power groomed a schoolgirl before putting his hand down her pyjama bottoms.

The 38-year-old was convicted of an historic sex offence against a child after he touched the teenager.

Stafford Crown Court heard Power had tried to start a relationship with his victim prior to the offence, displaying ‘grooming behaviour’.

Prosecutor Nigel Booth said: “In the lead up the defendant had been buying the victim gifts such as chocolates and flowers. He told her he wanted a relationship with her.

“He told her he loved her and he couldn’t bear to see her with anyone else.”

The court heard that on the day of the offence – which happened years ago – Power got into a bed where the victim was.

Mr Booth said: “He got into the bed. He put his hand under the waistband of her pyjama bottoms and into her groin area.

“He wanted to go further but she pulled away to prevent him doing so.”

Power, who has no previous convictions, was arrested a considerable time later – after the girl confided in her mother.

He initially denied engaging in sexual activity with a child, but pleaded guilty to a single charge when he went on trial.

Joanne Wallbanks, mitigating, said Power, of Limeheath Place, Tunstall, had recently been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Recorder Stephen Thomas sentenced Power to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months. He must complete a 35-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 150 hours unpaid work.

Recorder Thomas said: “This is one incident but it has to be set against a background. You developed an unhealthy sexual interest in the victim.

“This seems to have manifested itself in you believing that you could have some sort of relationship with her, reaching the stage where you thought you loved her.

“It manifested itself physically on one occasion when you put your hand inside her pyjamas and touched an area in the vicinity of her genitalia. She told you to stop and you did.”

A three-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order was imposed, which will limit Power’s contact with children.

He will be on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.

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