50-year-old man who groomed teenager is jailed
A 50-year-old man travelled from his home in Yorkshire to Rugby where he sexually abused a 15-year-old he had groomed over the internet.
Despite the trauma of her ordeal, when she believed the police were not doing enough to catch her abuser, the victim took steps to track him down.
At Warwick Crown Court, Peter Reynolds, who was living in Harrogate at the time, was jailed for ten years.
He had pleaded guilty to inciting the girl to take part in sexual activity, meeting her following sexual grooming, and six charges of sexually assaulting her.
Sentencing Reynolds, who also admitted possessing and distributing indecent images of children as young as six months old, Recorder Gareth Evans QC ordered him to register as a sex offender for life.
Prosecutor Grace Hale said that in May 2013 a 15-year-old Rugby girl made contact with Reynolds on a chat website, and on that first occasion they chatted for two hours.
She found Reynolds, who was using the name Paul and whose face was not visible, to be ‘a very nice person,’ and after that they texted and chatted daily on their phones.
The girl considered Reynolds to be ‘really kind and supportive,’ and began to feel under an obligation to him.
But he then became more demanding and became increasingly insistent that they should meet, pestering her to do so for about a month before she agreed.
He drove to Rugby, and after they met up she wanted to back out and be taken home but Reynolds drove her elsewhere and abused her.
The girl did not report it then, but the police were contacted after she told someone in October what had happened. Officers attempted to contact ‘Paul,’ but were not able to do so.
So the girl, who Miss Hale said did not think the police were doing enough, sent Reynolds a Facebook message which led to him phoning her and she was able to pass his number to the police.
By then he had moved and officers eventually traced him to an address in Stockton-on-Tees and he was arrested.
The police also seized his computer on which they found indecent images.
Reynolds’ victim read out her own victim impact statement. She told the judge: “What happened to me has devastated my life.
“I feel really angry towards this man. I’ll never forgive him. I want him to feel guilty for what he did every single day.”
Matthew Barnes, defending, said: “I can inform the court, and her, that he does. Mr Reynolds took full responsibility for his actions by putting in guilty pleas. He is resigned to his fate.”
Jailing Reynolds, Recorder Evans told him: “It’s clear to me that, albeit she contacted you, you were very much the person who was in charge of what went on.
“You were grooming her from the very beginning.
“She was vulnerable because of her age. In many ways you have ruined her future.”