April 2011

Bus driver jailed for sex with girl, 13

A pervert bus driver who groomed a 13-year-old schoolgirl for sex has been jailed for more than four years.

Jonathon McGarrigle, 22, befriended the teenager and began exchanging sexually explicit texts with her.

Maidstone Crown Court heard the pair regularly met for sex in McGarrigle’s car in Raspberry Hill, near Sittingbourne, and even sent each other photographs of their genitalia.

But Judge Charles Macdonald QC rejected McGarrigle’s claims that he wanted to eventually marry the girl.

“There is no hint of anything that anyone would describe as a relationship,” he commented.

“It was an association which was noticeably short of any form of activity that would denote that you valued her, liked her company and wanted to take her on dates.

“It was simply predatory exploitation.”

The former soldier, who was working for a Sheerness-based company at the time, admitted sexual activity with a child between September and October last year.

He also pleaded guilty to making indecent photographs between the same dates and was jailed for four years and three months.

McGarrigle, of Ingle Road, Chatham, will also be subject to an extended licence period of three years upon his release.

The court heard the abuse was discovered when the girl’s mother received a substantial mobile phone bill.

She found incriminating texts and had also noticed changes in her daughter’s behaviour.

As well as sending the teenager an image of his erect penis, McGarrigle told her to keep their relationship secret as he would be sent to prison if anyone found out.

They first had sex in a field and then on 12 more occasions in his car. The court heard he did not always use protection.

McGarrigle was arrested in November and made full admissions. Crispian Cartwright, defending, said the girl was “enthusiastic” and encouraged their relationship.

“He is still in love with her but realises it cannot be pursued and regrets any grief he has caused to her and her family.

“But, however inappropriate it was, they were happy together.”

McGarrigle must sign on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.