September 2011

Sex offender jailed after touching boy

A 27-YEAR-OLD has been jailed after sexually touching a teenage boy, leaving him in fear of being raped.

Andrew Meigh, from Bucknall, had already been convicted of two offences of sexual assault on a teenage girl when he was charged with attempting to rape a schoolboy in November last year.

Meigh, pictured, of Causeley Road, had always denied attempting to rape the youngster and instead pleaded guilty to an alternative charge on the day his trial was due to start in June.

He was sentenced for sexually touching a child under 16 at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday.

The court was told the incident started by Meigh touching the boy’s private parts through his clothes.

Nicholas Tatlow, prosecuting, said the boy asked Meigh to go away, but he persisted by exposing himself.

As a struggle took place, Meigh pulled down the boy’s clothing and pressed himself up against the boy.

The pair were then interrupted.

Mr Tatlow said: “The defendant’s account on interview was it was the boy that made sexual advances towards him. He said the boy had taken the lead in all the sexual contact that happened between them.”

Judge Paul Glenn said although the boy was not physically injured, there was “no doubt” he would have been significantly affected psychologically.

The court heard that probation officers have reported Meigh has shown no remorse or empathy with his victim.

And the judge was told that Meigh has been the victim of similar offences in the past.

Catherine O’Reilly, defending, said he was a man with “considerable” difficulties with his speech as a result of an accident approximately four years ago.

He now gets very frustrated and is hard to communicate with.

Miss O’Reilly said: “Mr Meigh stands by his guilty plea.

“He knows he is being sentenced today for a very serious offence.

“He knows he is facing a substantial sentence.”

She added: “He is clearly going to find a custodial sentence difficult and has done to date.

“It is going to be extremely difficult for him to engage in any work with regard to courses because of communication problems.”

Judge Glenn told Meigh he was not happy he had left it so late to plead guilty, telling him he had been given “ample” time to do it before his trial was due to start.

He said the incident was classed as a level two offence, with sentencing guidelines ranging from one to four years in prison.

But he went beyond the guidelines to jail Meigh for four-and-a-half years with an extended licence period of the same time.

Judge Glenn told him: “You represent a quite significant risk to children you come into contact with.

“I have no doubt at all you meet the criteria of a serious offender.”

He added: “This was a particularly vulnerable victim, you used significant force and you have relevant previous convictions.”

The 324 days Meigh has already spent in custody will count towards his sentence.

He will be released on licence after serving half the sentence.

Meigh has also been barred from a range of activities involving children and has been disqualified from working with children indefinitely.