March 2015

York man jailed for sexually abusing two under-age girls

A YORK man who brought two under-age girls to the city so he could ply them with alcohol and sexually abuse them has been jailed for three and a half years.

One of Gary Smithies’ victims later told police she had had two litres of cider, four cans of lager and a vodka mix during five hours of drinking on the riverbank in York, before he went off with her alone and tried to have sex with her, said Alex Semple, prosecuting.

In a victim statement, she said since the abuse, she had nightmares, would start crying for no reason, didn’t go to school at times and had difficulty trusting people.

Smithies returned with her to the other girl, whom he had already sexually assaulted, and took them to the railway station, where police spotted the trio.

Realising the girls were drunk and under age, officers intervened and sent them home in a taxi.

But neither revealed the sexual abuse until Smithies’ girlfriend at the time read the sexual messages and photo he had sent to one of the girls on his mobile and contacted police.

Smithies, 25, formerly of Wilton Rise, Holgate, pleaded guilty to two sexual acts with a child and one attempted sexual act with a child.

He was jailed for three and a half years, put on the sex offenders’ register for life and made subject to a sexual offences prevention order banning him indefinitely from unsupervised contact with girls under 16 and restricting his use of the internet.

After looking at the messages Smithies sent the girls before the York trip, the Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, told him: “You had sex in mind, that is obvious from the texts.”

For Smithies, Michael Greenhalgh said he had had a difficult background and had recently been released from a sentence for wounding.

He had been hoping to make a new start in York.