December 2019

Pervert avoids prison after sending sex messages to schoolgirl

A man has avoided jail after sending a sex message to a teenager.

Rajinder Chahal contacted his 15-year-old victim over social media site Instagram and went on to send her one message of a sexual nature.

Judge Jonathan Bennett, who presided over the case at Derby Crown Court, decided to impose a suspended sentence for the 39-year-old’s actions and also made a sexual harm prevention order.

In passing punishment, Judge Bennett said: “You are 39-years-of-age. You entered guilty pleas at this court for sexual communication with a child.

“It was a single message sent to one girl. You were interviewed by police and gave no comment.

“I come to the view that this offence does pass the custody threshold, but nevertheless I can suspend that sentence. You are not going to prison today.

“You have a very impressive letter telling how sorry you are.”

Sarah Allen, prosecuting, told the court the offence took place in January 2018.

She said: “The defendant sent a message about 10pm asking if the victim was still out, she said she wasn’t and was in bed at home.

“The defendant then sent her a message which she didn’t respond to. At about midnight he sent her another message which she didn’t respond to.

“He then sent her a love heart which she replied ‘I’m good thanks’. He then sent her a message (which was a sexual communication).”

Ms Allen said the victim blocked the defendant.

Ms Allen said Chahal was arrested in March 2018 and gave no comment during his interview to the police.

Gregor Purcell, mitigating, said he pleaded guilty at his first appearance at Derby Crown Court and said he sent the message while in drink.

He said: “He has sought assistance and been to Alcoholics Anonymous. He has reduced his drinking and is now in control of that.

“To address the loss of his father, he has been to bereavement counselling since and that has assisted him.

“He is working as a recovery driver and is looking for other work in addition to that. He is a hard-working man.

“He has always worked and he will work to right some of the wrong.”

Chahal, of Springwood Farm Road, Midway, Swadlincote, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual communication with a child.

He was handed a six-month sentence suspended for 18 months.

As part of his sentence, he would have to complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days and 180 hours of unpaid work.

He was then ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge.

A sexual harm prevention order was also made.