November 2011

Father hits out at ‘lenient’ sentence given to man who abused daughter

A FATHER has criticised the “lenient” sentence given to the pervert who abused his daughter and two other young girls.

Luke Stainforth befriended the victims on the internet and formed relationships with them until “they succumbed to his persuasion” and had sex with him, a court was told.

The 18-year-old, who had sex with one his victims “35 to 40 times”, pleaded guilty to 14 counts of sexual activity with a child and was sentenced to two years in a young offenders’ institution at Derby Crown Court.

Speaking after the hearing, the father of one of the victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “It seems quite lenient to me considering what he put his victims through.

“But there is still a great sense of relief that he (Stainforth) has been given a custodial sentence as the families were worried that he would not be put away.”

The court was told that Stainforth, of Macklin Street, Derby, was a father-of-one who had made a girl pregnant when he was 13.

His victims, who were all known to him and also cannot be named, came forward after they discovered he was seeing more than one of them at the same time.

Sentencing him, Judge Andrew Hamilton told Stainforth: “You targeted these young girls because you knew you could appeal to their basic childlike innocence. You were able to seduce them and get your evil way with them.

“You manipulated them. When the opportunity arose you put pressure on them and seduced them. Custody is the only option. I think it is going to be a horrifying experience for you.”

Jonathan Straw, prosecuting, told the court how Stainforth’s first victim was 13 when the grooming started, in October last year.

Mr Straw said: “They began chatting on MSN and he told her he had really liked her for a long time and that they should go out with each other. They met at his house and had sex, which continued on a regular basis.”

Mr Straw said the second and third victims, both aged 14, started seeing Stainforth in December last year.

Balraj Singh Bhatia, in mitigation, said his client was “an extremely immature man” who had “poor thinking skills” and “did not have a circle of friends his own age.”

He added: “Mr Stainforth is not a predator. Someone who is admitted (to a young offenders’ institution) with this type of offence will face a torrid time inside.”

Stainforth was ordered not to contact the three victims and was prohibited from seeking the company of anyone aged under 16 on his own.

He was also put on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.