January 2009

Bristol man’s shameful behaviour with girl, 14

A Bristol man who admitted improper conduct with a 14-year-old girl has been given a three-year community order.

Paul Johnson, 33, of Easton, admitted having sexual activity with a child after he texted the youngster, got her on her own and hugged and kissed her.

Imposing sentence Judge David Ticehurst told him: “You behaved in a wholly shameful and unacceptable way.

“What an earth possessed you, a man who had young children and no previous convictions, to indulge in this sexual offending is a complete mystery.

“The difficulties you have created for yourself and your family are considerable and people will regard you with a degree of suspicion and concern.”

The judge ordered Johnson to attend a three-year sexual offenders’ programme and told him if he stepped out of line he would be sent to prison.

Johnson, of Fox Road, was told to register as a sex offender for five years.

Mark Hollier, prosecuting, said in April last year Johnson had gone for a drink after work and sent the 14-year-old girl text messages which became sexually suggestive.

Mr Hollier said Johnson then arranged to meet the girl and had ” put his arms around her, gave her a hug and kissed her on her cheek”.

“She didn’t know how to handle this and she froze before she left,” he said.

The court heard other texts were exchanged between the two before the girl told her mother what had happened. Her mother confronted Johnson before calling the police.

Paul Cook, defending, said his client had moved out of his family home and was living with a friend. A probation officer told Bristol Crown Court there was a low risk of Johnson re-offending helped by the fact he had changed his accommodation.