Nov 2008

Young man used self-harm support site to groom girl, 14

A man met a young girl intending to have sex with her after grooming her on a website used by vulnerable people who had been abused or self-harmed, a court heard.

Kevin King, who has a previous conviction for downloading child sex abuse images, pretended to be a “sympathetic confidante” she could talk to and trust.

But he later told her he had fallen for her, saying he tried to not let it happen because she was only 14, but adding he could not resist her.

King, 22, arranged to meet the victim on Folkestone beach, as he had before. But her stepfather went instead and took photographs of him.

Now, King, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, is facing sentence after a jury convicted him of meeting a child following sexual grooming.

Maidstone Crown Court heard he met the girl on the website Recover Your Life and continued to contact her through instant messaging, webcam and mobile phone.

Hanna Llewellyn-Waters, prosecuting, said King manipulated the girl, who was vulnerable and receptive to his charms.

“He tried to present to her as a friendly and approachable grown-up,” she said. “He chose to adopt a grooming approach designed to flatter her and encourage her affections.”

When arrested, King replied: “Fair enough.” He denied wanting sex with her.

Miss Llewellyn-Waters told the jury King was convicted in January 2005 of possessing indecent images of children at Loughborough magistrates. He was sentenced to four months in youth custody.

It was revealed after the verdict King also had convictions for indecent exposure and harassment and threats to kill an ex-girlfriend.

In December, he was found guilty by a jury at Maidstone Crown Court and has now been jailed for 33 months, banned from working with children indefinitely and has been given a sexual offences prevention order.