Dec 2006

Paedophile who groomed victim on internet jailed

A paedophile delivery driver who abducted a 14-year-old girl after grooming her in an internet chatroom was jailed for six years today.

Stephen Carter, 47, was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life after pleading guilty to sexual activity with the victim and another girl aged 15.

Carter, of Deepdale Drive, Carlisle, also admitted charges of grooming and abduction during a hearing at Warwick Crown Court.

The defendant, who committed the offences between January last year and May this year, was arrested in June after the 14-year-old vanished from her north Warwickshire home.

Her disappearance prompted an extensive police inquiry and she was traced in Cumbria a day after she went missing.

The 14-year-old and the older girl, who is from Cumbria, cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Carter, the court heard, used an internet site to groom the younger girl for more than six months, even giving her a mobile phone.

Speaking after the case, Detective Chief Inspector Nav Malik, of Warwickshire Police, said: “This conviction highlights the major concerns there are with chatrooms where older men purporting to be teenagers are able to engage in conversations with young girls, extracting information and forming liaisons.”

Referring to the girl from north Warwickshire, the officer added: “The fact that Carter elected to plead guilty when he appeared before the court does at least mean that his young victim has been spared the trauma of having to give evidence.

“We will be supporting her as an ongoing process and hope that she will be able to put this ordeal behind her.”