November 2007

JAIL FOR MAN WHO GROOMED TEEN

A SEXUAL predator who groomed a vulnerable schoolgirl has been jailed for more than five years.

Daniel Kinghan, 35, is also banned for life from contact with anyone under 18.

Kinghan, of Aberdeen Street, Barrow, ignored repeated warnings to stay away from the 15-year-old, who was in Social Services care, but he continued the illicit affair.

When his crimes were highlighted by the Evening Mail he threatened to bomb the Abbey Road offices and was jailed for 60 days in February.

On his release he continued his relationship with the teenager.

At an earlier hearing Kinghan admitted sexual activity with a child and sexual grooming between September and December last year.

At Preston Crown Court yesterday Miss Fiorella Brereton, prosecuting, told the court the victim was a 15-year-old girl in care. Kinghan formed a sexual relationship with her. He was warned about his conduct and the girl was also told not to contact Kinghan.

An examination of their mobile phones revealed intimate messages between them.

Miss Brereton said: “The messages were indicative of the close nature of the relationship between them.”

Kinghan had no previous convictions for sexual offences.

Mr Fraser Livesey, defending, said the contact had been consensual and the girl had made no complaint herself.

He said: “At the time of these offences, and for a long time proceeding, he was drinking vast amounts of alcohol.

“He had been told his liver was significantly damaged and if he did not stop drinking, five years was as much as he could expect.”

Mr Livesey said the alcohol had affected Kinghan’s judgement and inhibitions and he was now sobering up. He said Kinghan was concerned about his plea and how it would affect his mother and grandmother, because of the stigma the offences attracted and the excitable response from the community.

Judge Andrew Gilbart QC told Kinghan: “You were not deterred even from seeing her despite the intervention of the authorities,” and sentenced him to a six-year prison term reduced by 10 per cent to five years and five months because of his guilty plea.

His final sentence ended up being 32 months and 15 days, after time on remand was deducted.

Kinghan was also made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which bans the dad-of-one from working with under-18s or communicating via text, email or the internet with under 18s. Kinghan’s own child is excepted from the order.

After the verdict, senior investigating officer Detective Sergeant Chris Bethell said: “As a result of a protracted inquiry by the Public Protection Unit, Daniel Kinghan was sentenced today to six years imprisonment.

“Kinghan targeted a vulnerable child, groomed her and commenced a sexual relationship. He is a predator and poses a significant risk to the public.

“Cumbria Constabulary is committed to work in partnership with other agencies to uphold the right of vulnerable people, to protect them from harm and exploitation by detecting and responding to the abuse and mistreatment of all vulnerable members of society.

“The sentence imposed today reflects the seriousness of these crimes.”