April 2010

Pontypool man is jailed for having sex with 15-year-old girl

A PONTYPOOL man who had sex with a schoolgirl after grooming her over the internet was jailed for three years.

Anthony Hollister, 30, of High Street, Pontypool, pleaded guilty at Swansea Crown Court to two offences of meeting a child under 16 following sexual grooming and one count of having sex with the girl last December when he knew she was only 15.

Kevin Riordan, prosecuting, said Hollister met the girl via the internet in January 2009 . The schoolgirl, from Swansea, told Hollister she was 17 and he admitting to being in his 20s.

But last May, the girl’s mother contacted Hollister to say that because her daughter was only 15 there should be no further contact, but a few weeks later Hollister and the girl met up in Cwmbran.

On December 9, they booked a room at the Premier Inn and Hollister had sex with the girl. The alarm was raised at midnight when her concerned parents reported her missing.

A police officer then spoke to the defendant on his mobile phone, and although he initially denied being with the teenager, the pair turned up at Pontypool police station two hours later. When interviewed, Mr Riordan said it was clear the girl was “very attached and close to the defendant”.

Robert Du Val, defending, said it was significant that when the girl first got to know Hollister she sent him a photograph that was consistent with her representations that she was 17.

Mr Du Val said that when Hollister found out the girl’s true age in May, the sensible thing would have been to stop contacting her but he allowed their sexual communications to carry on in a way that was hugely irresponsible.

Sentencing Hollister, Mr Justice Lloyd Jones said grooming had gone on for several months, there was a substantial age difference, and the defendant had known “full well” that the girl was only 15.