October 2014

Man jailed for sexual activity with girl he befriended at church

A man has been jailed for five years for sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl he befriended at a local church.

Luke Thomas, 28, became friends with the girl after she joined a Colchester church, ChelmsfordCrown Court heard.

He groomed the under-age girl, which resulted in repeated sexual activity.

The court was told several people had tried to persuade Thomas to end the contact, but he continued.

Jailing Thomas, Judge Patricia Lynch QC told him: “Any adult that get involved in sexual activity with a child does so at their peril.”

She also imposed a sexual offences prevention order on him, banning him from contact with anyone aged under 16.

Thomas faced a total of 18 sex charges, including one of rape, all of which he denied.

Last month, a jury cleared him of rape and two charges of sexual activity with a minor, but convicted him of 13 counts of illegal sexual activity.