November 2009

Paedophile had sex with girl, 13, after persuading dad to OK trip

A PAEDOPHILE “groomed” a 13-year-old girl, persuading her family to let him take her to a car rally where he had sex with her.

Richard Comley, 30, told the girl’s father the youngster would be sleeping in a tent with a 20-year-old woman.

But after travelling from Derbyshire for the event, near Hay-on-Wye, Comley twice had sex with the girl.

Comley, from Holme Close, Hatton, was sentenced to two concurrent terms of imprisonment for two years and eight months at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court after pleading guilty to two offences.

Prosecuting, David Bowen told the court Comley had been made aware by two people that the girl was underage.

Despite these warnings he separated the girl from her father and reassured him that, while at the rally, his daughter would be sleeping in a tent shared only with a woman.

Mr Bowen said that at the rally, in July, Comley took the girl into a sauna where witnesses became concerned that petting was taking place.

Comley then took the girl to a tent, where he shared a sleeping bag with the victim.

He then took the drunken child away to a car, removed her clothes and had sex with her.

The next morning he took his victim to a secluded wood and had unprotected sex with the child.

One of the people who had witnessed the petting alerted the victim’s father and a police investigation was launched, the court heard.

Mr Alex Greenwood said, in mitigation, that his client’s drunkenness, dyslexia and the child’s willingness for sex were sufficient grounds for a non-custodial sentence.

Mr Greenwood said the 13-year-old was a “willing participant”.

He told the court his client, despite his dyslexia, was employed and worked hard and that custody might serve no useful purpose.

In further mitigation, Mr Greenwood said that Comley had fully co-operated with the police and told them of the second sexual encounter, something that the victim had not mentioned when questioned.

Sentencing, Judge Christopher Vosper QC told Comley the law was there to protect children.

He said: “Her (the victim’s) willingness is not mitigation.”

Judge Vosper said Comley had arranged the girl’s separation from her father, had given her alcohol and had been told she was underage.

In addition to the jail term, Judge Vosper ordered Comley to register as a sex offender and banned him from working with children and vulnerable adults.