August 2009

Paedophile groomed girl, 13, made her drunk and had sex with her

A PAEDOPHILE who groomed a 13-year-old girl in an internet chatroom has been jailed for six years.

Stephen Whelehan made contact with the teenager using MSN Chatline – then went on to ply her with drink and have sex with her.

The girl did not come home one night and her worried parents alerted police, who found her naked in Whelehan’s bed.

The youngster, who had been a virgin, was still one-and-a-half times over the drink-drive limit six hours later.

The incident happened in Long Eaton, when Whelehan lived there. He now lives in Uttoxeter New Road, Derby.

Whelehan, 20, was given an extended sentence of six years. He will spend two years in custody with the remaining four years on prison licence.

Derby Crown Court heard Whelehan knew his victim was only 13 but got her to perform sex acts over the internet, viewing her using a webcam.

Within days, they met in West Park, Long Eaton, before going to his home where they had sex.

The court heard the offences had a major effect on the girl. But Judge John Burgess said: “It is wider than that because her parents began to question their parenting skills and are aware of her lost innocence.

“You got her drunk to facilitate it. You were responsible, being much older than her and that makes these serious offences.”

Whelehan admitted two counts of sexual activity with a girl in March. He was put on the sex offenders’ register for life.

James Allen, prosecuting, said Whelehan met his victim through a girl of 12, whom he also met on the internet.

In the early hours of March 16, Whelehan sent a message suggesting they should get married or engaged.

The girl replied: “I am 13 and it is very soon for me.”

On March 23, Whelehan visited the girl’s home while her parents were out. They drank some Malibu but he left when her mother was due home.

They arranged to meet in the park at 7pm the next night and Whelehan arrived with a bottle of vodka. The girl drank some and did not return home.

At 2am the next morning, police found her naked in Whelehan’s bed.

Officers found evidence of the chats after the girl’s parents set the computer to save them.

Keith Raynor, mitigating, told the court: “He is 20 but it is plain he is a socially inadequate 20, an immature 20. He was lacking the social skills and awareness to form meaningful relationships with young women of his own age.”

He had made no threats towards the girl but failed in his “social, moral and sexual duty towards her”, he added.

Under the terms of his sentence, Whelehan must not enter parks, arcades or swimming pools which could be used by children.

He was barred from using internet messaging and must make his computer available for police visits.

Following the sentence, Detective Constable Annie Vernon of the Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said MSN services were usually set to delete the messages, but they can be set up to save them, so they can be checked by parents.