March 2011

Pervert is jailed for five years after grooming girl

A PERVERT who groomed a 15-year-old girl before having unlawful sex with her was yesterday jailed for five years.

Andrew Colbeck gave the teenager red wine and cigarettes and took her on day trips to the North York Moors.

He also communicated with her through internet chat rooms he set up, Teesside Crown Court heard.

When Colbeck was arrested last year, child pornography was found on his computers.

The 51-year-old admitted sexual activity with a child and 17 charges relating to indecent images of children.

The conviction is Colbeck’s third for child sex crimes, and Judge Peter Fox heard how it has left his victim struggling to rebuild her life.

He told Colbeck: “Her statement, which graphically describes the consequences of that capture – for that’s what it was – is sorrowful reading.

“It is to be hoped that she will recover a normal womanhood, but plainly what you did to her has affected her deeply. I see from your presentence report even now you will not accept that you deliberately groomed her for the purpose of your perverted sexual gratification.

“You were in a position to master her and then, with some degree of frequency over a period of months, you had sexual intercourse with her.”

Colbeck, who was prosecuted when he was 18 and again in 2001 for child sex crimes, was in his 40s when he abused the girl.

His barrister, Paul Cleasby, described him as “a sad and lonely individual with unhealthy curiosities”, but said he had not offended for a number of years. He said: “It is significant mitigation when an offender admits his responsibility, accepting his guilt in public and saving the complainant the trauma and embarrassment of having to relive those activities.”

Colbeck, formerly from Stockton and Redcar, but now of High Street, Lingdale, east Cleveland, will have to sign on the sex offenders’ register for life.

He will also be banned from working with children and from having unsupervised contact with under-16s.