'Manipulative' sex offender renewed contact with girl he groomed

More than two years after he had been jailed, a Rugby man said to have had ‘an unhealthy interest in young girls’ renewed contact with one of his victims – in breach of a court order.

And a judge at Warwick Crown Court heard that Joshua Ashby also breached the terms of his sex offender registration by staying at the home of a woman with two young daughters.

Crime news.

Crime news.

Ashby (25) of Newland Street, Rugby, was jailed for 25 months after pleading guilty to breaching a sexual harm prevention order and failing to comply with his sex offender registration.

Both orders had been imposed in October 2015 when Ashby was jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty to four offences of inciting teenage girls to engage in sexual activity.

The first three of those offences had involved a 13-year-old girl who Ashby had persuaded to send naked pictures of herself and ones of her performing sex acts on herself.

When he was arrested for those matters in July 2012, he claimed he believed she was 16 – but text messages made it clear he was aware of her age.

Then in March 2014, he began sending messages to another girl who he knew was only 14, asking her to send him naked pictures and encouraging her to take time off school so they could meet.

When he was sentenced in 2015, a restraining order was imposed banning him from having any contact with either girl.

But prosecutor Ian Windridge said that in January last year Ashby contacted his first victim, now aged 20, in breach of that order, telling her: “Hey, how are you hun? I’m sorry for everything I’ve done to you.”

He then began sending her messages virtually every day, asking her where she was living now and what bra size she was.

When she replied, his response was to say he would ‘love to see them,’ and asking her: “Can I see your sexy body?”

As the exchange of messages continued, Ashby asked her to send him a naked picture.

Mr Windridge said the young woman, who had deleted the messages she had sent in reply, eventually contacted the police.

As a result of the 2015 sentence, Ashby had to register as a sex offender – which had a number of requirements, including one that he notify the police if he was spending 12 hours or more at an address where any person under 18 was staying.

But in September last year he formed a relationship with a woman who had two children aged eight and 15, and, without revealing his conviction to her, began staying overnight at her home on a regular basis.

And in November, at a time when a 16-year-old girl was also staying at the address, he spent a whole weekend there from the Friday to the Monday morning, without notifying the police.

“In fact the lady herself carried out an internet search on him and discovered his conviction, and reported it to the police,” said Mr Windridge.

When he was arrested, Ashby admitted that breach, but claimed he did not recall that the girl had been included in the terms of the sexual harm prevention order.

Jonathan Coode said the messages had been ‘a two-way conversation,’ but Judge Anthony Potter interjected: “He was bombarding her with messages.

“I consider him to be a very manipulative man. He was behaving in a way the order was specifically designed to prevent.”

Mr Coode suggested that Ashby could be dealt with by concurrent sentences for the two offences – which was rejected by the judge, who jailed him for 16 months in relation to his contact with the girl and nine months for the later offence.

Judge Potter told Ashby: “I have to sentence you in respect of two breaches of court orders. In respect of one, that restraining order was imposed specifically to protect her.

“But from January 2018 until mid-March you sent her a daily selection of messages which became increasingly sexualised. I wholly reject that you had forgotten she was a subject of the order.

“The second breach arose from the same proceedings. I have no doubt you appreciated what that was designed to prevent you from doing.”