Paedophile who groomed teenage girl on Whatsapp jailed for three years

Priya Joshi
Stoke on Trent court

A paedophile who groomed a teenage girl on Whatsapp before luring her to a park for sex has been jailed.

Paul Harrison, 24, first established contact with the 15-year-old victim on Facebook. In 2015, the pair exchanged telephone numbers and he used the messenger Whatsapp to groom his victim and win her trust.

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Harrison, of Leek, Staffordshire, lured the teen to either Fenton Park or Smithpool Park in Stoke-on-Trent around ten times over two months, where he forced her to perform sex acts on "seven or eight" occasions.

Following his arrest on May 5 last year police discovered he had also persuaded the girl to send him four indecent images of herself.

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Prosecutor David Bruce told the court: "Their contact progressed to phone calls and Whatsapp messages. They first met up in Fenton Park. It was clear to the defendant that she was 15. She told him she was 15.

"There was sexual activity the first time they met. When they met on subsequent occasions he had sex with her."

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Appearing in court, Harrison admitted five counts of sexual activity with a child and one charge of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and possessing indecent images of children.

Judge David Fletcher said: "The single reason you went to that area - which was some distance from where you live - time and time again was simply to satisfy your own sexual urges.

"There is no suggestion by you that there was a loving, long-term potential relationship. This was you, a much older man, utilising a much younger girl to satisfy your own sexual need. You knew she was 15 from the get-go yet you continued to do it."

Harrison was jailed for three years and nine months at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court and was also handed a ten-year sexual harm prevention order, Mail Online reports. He has been placed on the Sex Offenders' Register indefinitely.

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