Ryde man jailed for grooming autistic teen for sex

A pervert who preyed on a schoolgirl with autism was jailed for six years by an Isle of Wight Crown Court judge.

Ashley Holness, of Carlton Road, Ryde, was told by Judge Susan Evans he had groomed his victim and his behaviour had been so appalling, it was likely the victim will suffer ‘serious emotional damage’.

The head chef admitted seven counts of intentional sexual touching of a child, two of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one of taking indecent photographs of a child, all against a girl aged under 16, between August 12 and December 23 last year.

An application to have Holness’s sentenced reduced for pleading guilty at a later hearing, was rejected by the judge on the grounds he “knew full well what he had done” when he appeared before Island magistrates.

During his depraved acts against the young teen, Holness, 36, warned her to be quiet, and groomed her by rewarding her with cash, said John Farmer, prosecuting, at the Isle of Wight Crown Court on Tuesday.

Holness also made her undress so he could take photographs of her naked, the judge was told.

When arrested, police discovered the photographs on his mobile phone.

On top of his jail term, Holness was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.