Burtonwood man spared jail after grooming ‘vulnerable’ 13-year-old girl

A Burtonwood man who groomed a ‘vulnerable’ teenage girl and told her to wear leggings because they were ‘easier to remove’ has been spared jail.

Shane Brooks, of Spurling Road, appeared at Chester Crown Court last Friday after pleading guilty to meeting a child under 16 following sexual grooming and sexual activity with a person under 16 after he met a 13-year-old girl on Facebook.

The 20-year-old complimented the victim’s appearance by commenting on one of her posts.

Prosecuting, Michael Whitty described how Brooks groomed the girl and even told her what to wear.

“The relationship developed through Facebook messages and texts. He asked if she had a boyfriend. She confirmed she was only 13,” he said.

“They were in contact for some time before they met.

“They would kiss and hug. The defendant would touch her all over her body including her legs and bottom. He describes how he was aroused.

“He told her what to wear, saying leggings were easier to remove.

“She took photos and some are plainly of a sexual nature.”

Brooks was arrested on August 4 after an adult saw the Facebook messages and raised the alarm.

Judge Patrick Thompson, sentencing, told Brooks he was going to give him an opportunity to turn his life around.

He said: “She was a vulnerable child. You effectively groomed her. You met up and these meetings involved physical contact and you touching her body.

“Thankfully it didn’t go any further because it if had you would certainly be going into custody today. 

“It seems to me you have made efforts to sort your life out – there has been no repetition of this sort of behaviour.

“You are still only 20 years old. It seems to me you are a young man who is young enough to have your behaviour challenged and changed. It seems you have a willingness to change and I’m going to give you that opportunity.”

“The sentence that would be most beneficial to the public is one enabling you to go on a sex offenders treatment programme.”

Brooks was handed a two-year suspended sentence.