November 2009

Eight years for Exeter man who groomed boy, 14, before rape and abuse

AN amateur weather forecaster from Exeter who groomed a teenager on the internet and then twice raped him has been jailed for eight and a half years.

Exeter Crown Court heard 32-year-old Andrew Bond, of Fleming Way, Exeter, contacted the 14-year-old Newton Abbot schoolboy on the internet and then took him back to his Exeter home.

There he raped and sexually abused the teenager and took indecent pictures of him which were later found on his computer.

Passing the jail term, Judge Paul Darlow told Bond: “These offences relate to your deviant behaviour towards a young, vulnerable and confused 14-year-old boy. Initially you claimed that he was the front-runner in the offences but later admitted you were responsible.”

Prosecutor Nigel Wraith told the court that the offences came to light when the victim became upset at school and complained that he had been raped.

He and the defendant started communicating over the internet through a site called Kidzchat and Bond used the name Older Lad. The victim was asked whether he was “gay or bi” and when he said he did not know, Bond said he could offer him advice.

The teenager said he was 14 and a virgin and Bond arranged to meet him in Sainsbury’s car park at Newton Abbot.

He then took him back to his home in Fleming Way, Exeter, and it was there that the two rapes took place in the space of a fortnight in the summer of last year.

Bond took the boy up to a bedroom where he undressed him before committing the sex acts. He also took indecent pictures of the boy. When police seized his laptops they also found images of a young boy from Kent.

The prosecutor said Bond also used his web cam to show sexual acts taking place. In all, police found a total of 120 indecent pictures ranging across all five categories of seriousness on the computers.

When Bond was first interviewed by the police he said that he was gay and “preferred younger males”, but not children.

The court heard that soon after the interview, Bond made full admissions as to what had been going on and that had spared the teenager from having to come to court and relive his ordeals.

Mitigating James Leeming said Bond had let “his moral compass” slip for a short period of time and had since taken time to reflect on the effect his behaviour had had on the victim.

He had clearly crossed the moral boundary but was prepared to undergo treatment to address his sexual problems.

He said Bond also expressed remorse and the recognition that he had done wrong.

Bond pleaded guilty to two charges of rape, three of sexual assault, one of meeting a child for sexual grooming, 11 of taking and making indecent pictures, two of engaging in sexual activity with a child, one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and a final charge of incitement to distribute indecent pictures.

In addition to the prison term, Bond was ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and was also banned from working with children for life.

Judge Darlow said he took into account the fact that Bond had no previous convictions, that there were no injuries caused and no use of drugs or alcohol.

He also accepted that Bond was prepared to undergo whatever rehabilitation was available to him in prison.