May 2019

Man who groomed girl given six-year sentence for underage sex

A man who groomed and then had sex with a schoolgirl three days after his release from prison was starting a six-year jail term today

Jonathon Smith first asked the victim for sex via social media messages on the day after he was freed, a judge heard.

The girl rebuffed his advances but he persisted, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

She felt under pressure and finally relented on January 18, revealed Mr Andrew Baker, prosecuting.

Smith had sex twice more with the girl at an address in the Black Country between that date and January 22 but later that day the girl’s mother spotted a message from him on her daughter’s phone that read: “I’ll finish that later.”

She asked the child – who was aged under 16 – what it meant and the girl told her what had happened.

The police were called and 26-year-old Smith was arrested.

Mr Baker stressed: “There had been some grooming and planning in this. There was a significant age difference.”

The defendant had 21 previous convictions involving 34 separate offences but none of these were sexual offences, the court heard.

He had served a five-year sentence for causing grievous bodily harm with intent after which he received a three-year term for destroying property.

Smith, of Willenhall admitted three charges of sexual activity with a child and was jailed by Judge Mr Simon Ward, who told him: “This is the first time you have been convicted of any kind of sex offence but they were extremely serious offences.

“She told you that she did not want to do this but you were persistent. She felt under pressure and finally gave in.”

Smith was put on the sex offender register and made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for an indefinite period.