February 2021

Child rapist caught when parents found Whatsapp messages on girl’s phone

A paedophile repeatedly raped a underage girl after grooming her over WhatsApp.

Benjamin Goodrum, 22, manipulated and used the vulnerable victim to satisfy his twisted desires then threatened her to stay quiet.

But the “horrendous” abuse of the child came to light when her parents found sick messages from him on her phone.

Ian Harris, prosecuting, said these messages included a request from Goodrum to see a picture of the child’s bra.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the victim’s mum later confronted Goodrum, who claimed he had twice touched her daughter inappropriately.

Police were contacted and arrested Goodrum, who also told an NHS worker that he had touched the girl “once or twice”.

However, when police interviewed the victim, Mr Harris said she revealed Goodrum had groomed her by text for what was “a campaign of sexual abuse”.

Goodrum, of Clarence Road, Seacombe, text the girl asking her to exchange pictures, but when she said no, replied saying that if she didn’t, he would “do stuff” to her.

The girl told police “it was as if he was blackmailing her” and she thought he wanted sex, having once previously touched her inappropriately.

Goodrum asked for naked pictures before sending the child a photo of his penis and a video of him performing a sex act on himself, which made her feel “sick”.

She agreed to send him a photo of herself in her bra, but then tried to ignore his messages, only for Goodrum to continue to pester her, until he molested and raped her on multiple occasions.

At one stage Goodrum took the girl’s phone and deleted his texts, but police still recovered many of the messages.

Mr Harris said he would arrange to meet her alone and his messages were “demanding in nature and persistent”.

He said Goodrum “used her as a sexual toy” and warned that if she told anyone there would be consequences.

Mr Harris said the girl regularly told him to stop, but he continued even when told his abuse hurt, and called her a “slag”.

Goodrum remained silent when interviewed by police, but later indicated on a court form that the abuse “didn’t happen”.

The pervert admitted three counts of rape, three counts of attempted rape, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, three counts of sexual assault of a child, four counts of assault by penetration and one count of sexual activity with a child.

The girl’s mum said her daughter had since changed and now suffered from flashbacks and nightmares.

Judge Menary said Goodrum was “an offender of particular concern” and jailed him for 10 years, with an extended year on licence.

Goodrum will only be released before the end of his sentence if a parole board considers he is no longer a risk.

He must sign on the Sex Offenders Register and comply with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order indefinitely.