March 2013

Grimsby man jailed for ‘tragic romance’ with girl aged under 16

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BESOTTED lover Andrew Loche has been jailed after repeatedly ignoring warnings not to pursue a “tragic romance” with a “manipulative” teenage girl who tricked him into thinking she was pregnant.

He lovingly kept an ultrasound image of the phantom baby next to his bed and she even deceived him into giving the imaginary child a name, a court heard.

Loche, 26, of Harold Street, Grimsby, admitted three offences of engaging in sexual activity with a girl under 16 in November and December.

Mark McKone, prosecuting, told Grimsby Crown Court that Loche had been cautioned on October 17 for having sex with the underage girl.

But, despite this, he committed three further offences and had sex with the girl at his home. She wanted the relationship to continue.

On one occasion, the girl’s absence from home prompted the police to launch a search. They were found together in a flat.

Richard Hackfath, mitigating, said Loche accepted the blame, made admissions and had shown remorse. The girl had been manipulative and wrongly told him she was pregnant. She gave him supposed pictures of ultrasound images and they named the baby together. He kept a picture of the ultrasound image by his bedside.

Loche viewed the affair with the girl as a “tragic romance” and he was vulnerable and immature. He seemed to have genuine feelings for the girl and had been kind and gentle towards her.

“The defendant, immature as he is, couldn’t resist continuing the relationship,” said Mr Hackfath.

“He has utterly resolved he will have no further contact with this complainant. He is not a danger to children.”

Judge David Tremberg told Loche: “You blatantly disregarded court orders and warnings. The law is there to protect precocious underage girls, and boys for that matter, from their own instincts and from men who would take advantage of them.”

Loche, who had been in custody since January 2, was jailed for two years, banned for life from working with children and was ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years.