March 2015

Dawlish teenage sexual predator jailed for sex with schoolgirls

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A sexual predator has been jailed for having repeated sex sessions with one 15-year-old girl and giving refuge to a second 14-year-old girl.

Lewis Stewart befriended the victims when he was already banned by a court order from having any contact with under aged girls because of concern about his grooming of girls in Dawlish and Teignmouth.

He persuaded the mother of the 15-year-old to let him move into her house by claiming to be homeless but then abused her hospitality by starting a secret sexual relationship with her daughter.

The autistic youth started his affair with the girl just weeks after police tracked down a 14-year-old girl to his home, where they found him half naked and her hiding in his bedroom.

Stewart, aged 19, of Third Avenue, Dawlish, admitted six offences of sexual activity with a child and four breaches of a restraining order which prohibited any contact with under age girls.

He was jailed for a total of 21 months by Judge Phillip Wassall at Exeter Crown Court and banned from having any contact with girls under 16 for ten years.

He told him: ”These are a very serious series of offences. One of these girls was 14 when you smuggled her into your bedroom. There was plainly a risk of an offence being committed because you were barely dressed.

“You said you had no option but to let her in but that is not the case. You could have told your mother or phoned the police or social services. These were clear and persistent breaches of the order.

“The high risk is demonstrated by what happened next with the 15-year-old girl, all of which was also in breach of the restraining order. It was not sufficient to stop you having sexual activity with her when you were aged 18.

“The troubling features of this case are that the order had no effect. You had a succession of relationships with under age girls, who you put into vulnerable positions. It was grooming, in a way.”

Miss Anna Midgley, prosecuting, said Stewart was made subject to the order which banned him from seeing under age girls in 2013 but flouted it repeatedly.

He had a relationship with a 14-year-old girl whose parents tried to supervise the contact but who found him alone in her bedroom shortly after they had kicked him out of their house.

He had returned by another entrance and was with the girl, although she said no sexual activity had taken place.

The girl ran away from home three months later and was found by police at Stewart’s home, where he answered the door wearing only a pair of tracksuit bottoms.

She said he then tricked the mother of the 15-year-old into letting him stay by telling her he was homeless and playing on her sympathy. He started having sex with her daughter on the day after her 15th birthday.

The final breach of the restraining order happened in October, when Stewart was actually awaiting sentence for the earlier offences. He was seen chatting to a 15-year-old girl.

Mr Tom Bradnock, defending, said Stewart is autistic and has difficulty understanding social boundaries but is working on improving his attitudes and behaviour.

He said: ”He has experienced mental health difficulties and chaos during his teenaged years. He is immature and needs to learn how to react appropriately when sexual opportunities arise.