A ‘manipulative’ sex offender who groomed a young girl has been jailed
The Portsmouth girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was just 13 at the time of the grooming carried out by Adam Beale, then 22 but claiming to be 17, after they met online in 2010.
But Beale, who lived in Maidstone, Kent, had ulterior motives in forging the relationship with the underage girl.
The predator ‘wormed his way’ into being a fixture in the girl’s family after making regular trips to Portsmouth – where he would have intercourse with the victim under her parents’ roof.
The girl’s family who were ‘totally in the dark’ about Beale’s real age and intentions.
Years later after realising she had been the victim of his ruthless exploitation, the girl decided to come forward and tell police – resulting in Beale, now 31, being given an eight-year prison term for his actions after he admitted nine charges of sexual activity with a child.
The victim, now in her 20s, has suffered mental health issues as a result of Beale’s actions including post traumatic stress disorder, depression, self-harm and anxiety.
Describing her ordeal and the impact it has had on her, she said: ‘He took away my innocence and exposed me to things I should not have been exposed to.
‘He groomed me so well that I thought I was in love with him. I was a puppet and would do anything for him. The fact my virginity was taken by someone who is attracted to children will stay with me for the rest of my life.’
Prosecutor Martyn Booth told the court how Beale span a web of lies to the girl before she became besotted. ‘She told him she was 13 years old when they first met which he said he didn’t have a problem with despite him being aged 22 while claiming to be 17,’ he said.
‘The very foundation of the relationship was based on lies. She quickly became infatuated with him but that was down to the difference in age.’
Beale arranged to visit the girl at Gunwharf Quays before he initiated sexual contact with the girl, who ‘thought he was older than 17’ but would not have met him if she had ‘known his real age’.
At the end of their first day spent together, the defendant told the victim he had missed his train back home before persuading her to spend the night under a bridge near Clarence Pier where non-penetrative sexual activity took place.
From this point onwards the girl became ‘hooked’ and during their next meeting Beale told her his real age. ‘He persuaded her they could now have a normal adult sex life. She wanted to impress him and didn’t want to disappoint him,’ Mr Booth said.
During their first full sexual encounter the girl revealed it was ‘painful’ and ‘weird’ with Beale talking her through the process ‘like she was a child’.
The girl even feared she had become pregnant after they ended up having sex without protection after Beale ‘struggled to maintain an erection’ with a condom on. ‘She was so concerned about being pregnant she went for tests,’ Mr Booth said.
As the relationship evolved, the defendant, with the help of the manipulated girl, span a web of lies to her parents – convincing them he was 17 and the relationship was platonic. ‘Her parents were completely unaware about the nature of the relationship and that they were having sex together when he stayed at the house,’ the prosecutor said.
As Beale’s behaviour became increasingly strange – with him attempting to get the girl and a friend to engage sexually on one occasion and him sending advances to her friends – the victim ended the 20-month relationship.
She would later find out that Beale was jailed in 2013 for 16 months for having indecent images of children. He was then jailed in 2018 for three years for the same offence as well as breaching a suspended sentence for engaging in sexual activity with a child.
Judge William Ashworth told Beale, of no fixed address: ‘The effect of what you did to the girl was utterly devastating. She was a child with no sexual experience and you turned her into someone who was infatuated with you and who surrendered her virginity to you.
‘At least your guilty pleas remove the burden off her shoulders and on to yours. You groomed her so well she was completely under your spell and you abused the trust of her parents by becoming part of the family.’