November 2018

Teen caught touching underage girl

A teenager has been ordered to sign the sex offender register following his convictions for sexual activity with an underage girl at a cinema and child abduction.

Callum Chant, 19, was caught on CCTV inappropriately touching a girl, who was under 16, as they watched a movie.

He was 18 when he was seen ‘sitting close’ to the teenager at a Bury cinema.

Around three months later, another teenager – who was also underage – was found at his flat.

Both girls refused to make a statement to police.

Chant, whose lawyer said ‘shows undeveloped levels of maturity’, claimed he has been ‘rejected’ by teenagers his age ‘due to his physical appearance’ and relates more to younger people.

Chant, of Bury, admitted sexual activity with an underage girl and child abduction. He was ordered to sign the sex offender register for five years at Minshull Street Crown Court.

He was also made the subject of a two-year community order and told to abide by a fourth-month curfew, which dictates that he must be at home between 7pm and 7am every day.

The court heard that Chant asked an underage girl on a date to the Vue cinema at The Rock earlier this year.

The teenager phoned her mother and told her she was going watch a film with Chant. The woman didn’t know him, but was told he was 18, the court heard.

Prosecutor Katherine Johnson said the woman and her partner, concerned about the girl, went to the cinema to find her, before seeing her with Chant.

“She was shocked to see him, and the partner asked Chant if he knew she was 14,” Ms Johnson told the court.

“The defendant replied saying ‘yes’ and that they were just friends. The two said they had been with other friends, who left the cinema earlier.

“The partner then told the girl to leave with him, which she did.”

The court heard the woman later asked cinema staff if she could view CCTV footage of her daughter with Chant.

The video showed the pair ‘sat next to each other’ with ‘their heads moving close to each other’.

“They denied that they kissed at all, but there was some touching of her bottom shown on CCTV over clothes and on her leg,” Ms Johnson added.

Chant was later arrested and issued with a ‘child abduction warning notice’, urging him to stay away from younger girls.

He was detained again three months later after another underage teenager was found at his flat.

The court heard the second girl’s family tracked her down to Chant’s flat when she didn’t return home.

Chant, the girl and another person stopped the teenager’s loved ones getting in the property.

Ms Johnson said that less than a week later, the girl was reported missing. Her family asked her to go home with Chant because they wanted to meet him, ‘to trick her’ into returning.

Chant denied being in a relationship with the girl. He was later arrested.

When interviewed by police, he said he thought the earlier warning notice had been lifted.

Sentencing, Judge Mark Savill told Chant: “There is nothing technical about these offences. She was a child and it was sexual activity and you have to understand the seriousness of it.

“CCTV shows you had your hand on her clothed bottom and leg although there are no aggravating features.

“There are a number of mitigating features. You are of previous good character and have shown genuine remorse.

“Your immaturity and age add to these. However, a child abduction notice was then in place and you knew what the risks were – and what you did wrong.

“It has been evaluated that you do not pose as high risk of immediate harm, you are genuinely remorseful and are not someone with an interest in underage girls.

“But if you are foolish enough to breach this court order you will be back before me. You should consider yourself extremely lucky.”