October 2007

Pervert caged for penning sex letters to child

A man who groomed a 14-year-old girl for sex by sending her letters from prison has been jailed for 22 months.

Daniel Parkinson, of Coastal Counties House, Sussex Street, Brighton befriended the girl while he was on holiday in Broadstairs.

Canterbury Crown Court heard yesterday (fri) that Parkinson, 22, later sent her letters while serving a prison sentence for driving offences talking of starting a sexual relationship. T he court heard that among other things he made references to use of a hairbrush as a sex aid and seeing the girl, who for legal reasons cannot be identified, in silk underwear.

The court was told that prison authorities at Lewes where Parkinson was an inmate were alerted by a reply from the girl. They then began monitoring Parkinson’s mail and recording phone calls.

The girl finally ended the relationship when she heard Parkinson was on remand accused of rape of which he was subsequently acquitted.

Jailing Parkinson for 22 months less 230 days he has served on remand, Judge Adele Williams said the contents of his letters and phone calls to the girl were “wholly inappropriate”.

In addition to the jail sentence he will also be subject of a sexual offences prevention order and will remain on the sex offenders register for ten years.

Annabelle Maxwell-Scott, prosecuting, said the pair met at the end of August last year when the girl was 14..

He was said to have driven her and her friends to beaches, to have kissed and held hands with her and to have bought her presents including a watch, perfume and a cuddly toy. He was also said to have given them alcohol sometimes.

He wrote her 18 letters from prison and she wrote four to him. In his letters he spoke of the depth of his love for her and having a tattoo with her name although he later told police it was the name of his late sister.

He also made reference to the girl being fit and asked if she’d been good or would he have to punish her. And he said he wanted to marry her.

Miss Maxwell-Scott said it was clear that the girl had sent him a photograph because he had replied saying he would like to be in bed with her watching her sleep and other things.

“She replied he would definitely see her in her silk underwear,” said Miss Maxwell-Scott.

When interviewed, Parkinson said he had picked her up from school but she had not been in uniform. He said there had been no physical contact beyond kissing and he denied knowing her real age.

Julian Woodbridge, for Parkinson, said Parkinson had a troubled background and upbringing with predictable results. He said he had struck up a friendship with the girl but was not a predatory paedophile.

Mr Woodbridge said: “When in prison, he was expressing deep feelings at the time while in isolation and fantasy became a concrete plan to meet the girl. This is not a classic grooming case.”

He said Parkinson needed to address drug and alcohol problems and had a chaotic lifestyle.

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said that in general one in ten letters sent by each prisoner should be monitored by prison authorities, except for letters to legal representatives which are confidential.

If there are known child protection issues, every letter will be monitored.