July 2015

Jail for former Nuneaton cab driver who groomed schoolgirl

A FORMER taxi driver from Nuneaton has been locked up after grooming a child over the internet

Paul Ian Nightingale from Borough Way in Stockingford had contacted the victim – aged 14 – through social media and arranged to meet her in a park in June 2014, police confirmed this week.

But the victim’s father attended the park and Nightingale left the area.

The 34-year-old was later arrested and his taxi driving licence, issued by Tamworth Borough Council, was suspended while an investigation by Warwickshire Police was carried out.

Nightingale was charged with grooming a child under 16 years of age and he pleaded guilty to the offence at Warwick Crown Court.

And at a hearing on June 20 this year, he was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment.

He will now remain on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years following the sentence.

PC Jade Badham of Warwickshire Police, said: “This was a long and protracted enquiry involving a number of departments supporting the investigation which has resulted in the offender being brought to justice.”

News about his prosecution comes as a licensing committee meeting will be held at Marmion House in Tamworth today to inform members about the incident.

Under law, only a “fit and proper person” may hold a hackney carriage or private hire driver’s license.

A spokesperson for Tamworth Borough Council said: “Mr Nightingale’s Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Driver’s Licence was suspended while the police investigation was carried out, as a precautionary measure.

“His licence lapsed and he did not seek to renew it.

“This means that Mr Nightingale is no longer a taxi driver.If he were to reapply for a licence, he would need to show that he was a ‘fit and proper person’.”

Police have said they are committed to protecting victims from similar incidents.

Sergeant Steve Newman, of Warwickshire Police, added: “Warwickshire Police are committed to protecting people from harm, and especially those who are deemed to be vulnerable.

“Incidents such as this have been highlighted in the national media in recent memory and this demonstrates that we will locate the offender, we will gather evidence and work with partner agencies to bring offenders to justice.”