April 2009

Man who groomed and abused boy jailed for a year

A TORQUAY man who sexually abused a teenage schoolboy after befriending and grooming him has been jailed for 12 months.

At Exeter Crown Court, 45-year-old Ian King had been found guilty on five charges of engaging in sexual activity with a child under 16 after a trial last month.

Passing sentence, Judge Jeremy Griggs told King: “Those who abuse children must expect immediate prison sentences.”

During the trial, the jury heard King bribed the boy with money and cigarettes and offered him drugs.

But while they were alone King sexually touched him.

King, of Morgan Avenue, Torquay, had denied all the charges and claimed the allegations against him were ‘a pack of lies’.

Mitigating, Rupert Taylor said King still maintained his innocence but accepted he would be sentenced in accordance with the jury verdicts. He said there had been no suggestion King had acted in this way in the past and he had been assessed as a low risk of re-offending.

Mr Taylor said his client was terrified of going to jail and would be a vulnerable prisoner because of his state of mind following a serious road crash some years ago.

That had led to excessive drinking which he said played a part in these offences.

In addition to the jail term, King was told to sign on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.

He was banned from working with children and made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

The terms of that order were that he must not associate with children under 16 in public unless the child is supervised by an adult who knows of the sex convictions; not be in a building used by children for educational purposes except when the child is supervised by an adult approved by the police child protection unit and he is prohibited from renting premises where there are children.