November 2011

Paedophile offered bribes to touch him

PERVERT William Steele has been jailed after asking two young girls to engage in sexual activity with him.

The 46-year-old offered to pay the children, aged nine and 10, to perform a sexual act on him, and then offered them sweets and money to keep it a secret when they refused.

Steele received a 14-month prison sentence at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday after admitting two counts of intentionally causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Prosecutor David Bennett told the court that for several months Steele had invited children around to his former home in Stoke-on-Trent.

They would sometimes come round to find him performing a sexual act in front of his television.

Mr Bennett said: “He would pay them small amounts of money or sweets to do jobs about the house. The children were effectively allowed to come and go as they pleased. One of the victims once entered the living room and saw the defendant masturbating as he watched television.”

On May 9 the two victims were at Steele’s address, when one of them heard someone outside talking about sexual matters.

Mr Bennett added: “One of the girls asked the defendant how sperm was made. At that stage the defendant asked the girls if they wanted him to show them. Both said they didn’t.

“He closed the curtains and offered the girls £10 to touch him.

“They became concerned at this point, but he told them he wasn’t going to attack them.

“As the girls were leaving he offered them money and sweets if they didn’t tell anyone.”

The following day the older of the two girls told her friend’s brother what had happened. He asked his sister about it and then told their parents, who subsequently reported the incident to the police.

Steele, now of Taughton Avenue, Crewe, initially denied that he had asked the girls to touch him, but he eventually admitted the charges on the day of his trial.

Mark Connor, mitigating, said: “Contrary to what the author of the pre-sentence report says, this wasn’t planned. This was a reaction to what the girls had asked, so it cannot be said that it was premeditated.

“In respect to grooming, children had been coming over to his house since summer 2010. Had the defendant been that way inclined he had every opportunity to abuse these children.

“He had a very lax attitude to the children coming to his house, and his habit of playing with himself in front of his television was inappropriate.

“But there is no suggestion anything other than that inappropriate behaviour went on.”

Mr Connor said a community sentence would allow Steele’s behaviour to be dealt with in a constructive way.

But Judge Paul Glennhanded the defendant an immediate custodial sentence.

He also said he would be disqualified from working with children.

Judge Glenn told Steele: “These were two young children, aged nine and 10. What you did will certainly have some emotional impact on these girls. I hope there is no long-term damage.

“I am concerned about the risk to the public, but I don’t think the evidence allows me to sentence you as a dangerous offender. There was no contact, but only because the girls refused.”