August 2010

Ex-soldier admits grooming Pembrokeshire teen

A former soldier has admitted grooming a Pembrokeshire girl over the internet in the hope of having sex with her.

Paul John Lewis, aged 39, appeared before a judge at Swansea crown court today (Monday) for a plea and case management hearing.

He admitted meeting the girl, aged under 16, in July of last year following a period of sexual grooming.

He denied an identical offence said to have taken place between July and August, 2008.

Nicola Powell, prosecuting, said the pleas were acceptable and a trial would not be necessary, partly because it would have involved the girl having to give evidence in court.

She said that Lewis accepted, in his basis of plea, that if the opportunity had arisen he would have touched her sexually.

Judge Thomas said it was a “progressive offence” and the court would decide what would have happened if Lewis’ plans had not been nipped in the bud.

The court heard that Lewis had served in the military for 20 years and now lived in Coventry.

Lewis will be sentenced after a probation officer has prepared a report into his background.

He was granted bail until then but ordered to immediately register with the police as a sex offender.