Man banned from going near school after grooming Rugby teenagers


A man with an “unhealthy interest in young girls” was banned from going within 100 metres of a Rugby school after persuading a 14-year-old to perform sex acts.

Joshua Ashby pleaded guilty to four charges of enticing a child to engage in sexual activity after grooming teenagers from the town.

Ashby, 22, had earlier pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to meeting the girl in 2012 following sexual grooming.

Ashby, of Castle Coombe, Rugby, also denied two charges of attempting to meet another 14-year-old last year and a 15-year-old girl in 2013 following grooming.

His case had been adjourned for trial, but the case was listed again at Coventry Crown Court where prosecutor Glyn Samuel said it had been reviewed.

Mr Samuel asked for four charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity to be added to the indictment, to which Ashby then pleaded guilty.

The charges reflected acts he had asked the two-14-year-olds to record themselves performing over the internet, including getting both girls to take sexy or naked photos of themselves and encouraging one of them to also perform sex acts on herself.

Told by Mr Samuel that the prosecution would not seek a trial on the original charges, Judge Philip Gregory observed: “He is someone, on his own admission, with an unhealthy interest in young girls.”

Colin Charvill, defending, asked for the case to be adjourned for a pre-sentence report and also a psychiatric report.

He pointed out that Ashby had recently been referred to the psychiatric services in Rugby with whom he has an assessment appointment later this month.

Judge Gregory agreed, but told Ashby: “You have pleaded guilty to very serious offences, which means you are in very serious trouble.”

He granted Ashby bail with conditions that he does not have any contact with his victims, does not have any unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 16 and does not go within 100 metres of a named school in Rugby.

And as well as ordering him to register with the police as a sex offender, the judge made Ashby subject to a sexual harm prevention order with conditions restricting his contact with children indefinitely.