June 2011

Jail for man who groomed 14 yr old girl

SEX offender Andrew Welton has been jailed for five years after being branded a “predatory paedophile” for sexually assaulting an “infatuated” teenage girl he had deliberately groomed.

The married father-of-ten met the 14-year-old girl at a caravan park, built up a friendship with her over the internet and later met her at a swimming pool, where he took advantage of her in a changing cubicle, a court heard.

Welton, 30, of Alexandra Road, Grimsby, denied four offences of sexually assaulting the girl on January 10 last year, but was convicted by a jury at Doncaster Crown Court on May 6.

The trial heard that Welton met the girl in 2008 at the Beachcomber holiday park in Humberston, where her parents had a caravan, and they later exchanged many messages over the internet.

He wrote her lengthy love poems and told her: “I love you to pieces. I can’t wait until you are 18. I love you always and forever.”

He threatened to “drop her like a bombshell” and delete her numbers and photographs in a bid to put her under pressure sexually.

They later met at Doncaster Dome to go swimming, but while they were in a cubicle, he partially undressed her, sexually assaulted her while she was “wrapped around him” and made it clear that he wanted further sexual activity.

She was shocked and he stopped. They went swimming, but later, again in a cubicle, he touched her intimately.

Judge Peter Kelson QC told Welton at a sentencing hearing before Sheffield Crown Court: “You first befriended this girl when she was just 13. It’s clear she was infatuated. You had this girl begging and you knew it. You knew precisely what you were about. The opportunity came to go swimming and, without hesitation, you went straight in to a locker with her and set about sexual activity.

“This was prolonged and deliberate conduct on your part. You fulfilled your own sexual desires.”

Welton was a “predatory paedophile”, said Judge Kelson.

He told Welton: “Having lied to the police, you then lied to the jury.

“You have admitted that everything she said was the truth and everything you said was a lie.”

Laurinda Bower, mitigating, said Welton had, since the trial, shown some unexpected remorse and realised his behaviour was wrong. He did not use any coercion or force and no physical harm was caused to the girl.

“The contact started rather innocently and developed through computer contact to friendship,” said Miss Bower.

He had a “poor record” of previous convictions, including being locked up for two years for burglary in 1998, but none for sexual matters or serious violence and he had kept out of trouble for almost two years.

Welton was ordered to register as a sex offender for life and is expected to be banned for life from working with children