April 2005

Internet girl, 14, groomed for sex

A FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD girl from Cwmbran was subjected to “abhorrent corruption” by a man who groomed her for sex after contacting her in an Internet chatroom.

Cardiff crown court heard that 35-year-old Alan Neal, of Northamptonshire, targeted the girl, travelled to Newport and on a number of occasions repeatedly committed sexual relations with her.

He pleaded guilty to ten charges of sexual assault and one of possessing amphetamine. Yesterday, he was jailed for five years. Judge John Griffith Williams directed he be on licence for eight years.

He was also ordered to register as a sex offender, banned from working with children for life and banned from entering an Internet chatroom.

Neal’s counsel, Leighton Hughes, said: “I concede that there was abhorrent corruption. He was carried away by her affection because she had fallen for him. I accept it was disgraceful behaviour. He has thrown everything away and is being divorced.”

The judge told Neal: “Soon after making contact with the girl you found out her true age.

“But you continued to make contact with her, which demonstrated that you wanted to take advantage of her.”

Neal, he said, had introduced a girl to “sexual practices way beyond her years”.

Prosecutor Jane Rowley said that when Neal contacted the girl he said he was 23, single, and gradually gained her trust. From the start she made it clear she was only 14.

He sent her pictures of himself, paid for credit for her mobile phone and said he didn’t care about her age. He sent her flowers, gifts and erotic DVDs.

They first met last year at Newport railway station, but she became scared “because he didn’t look right”.

They went for a meal and he cuddled her before driving to Duffryn, where he told her to get into the back of his car “to make him happy”.

At one point, because of his behaviour, she screamed.

They met a month later and he asked her to run away with him. On a third occasion, he picked her up from home to go shopping but took her to a B&B and had sex with her, at one point pulling out some of her hair.

He also filmed her in erotic poses, saying: “I want something to remember you by,” and proposed to her.

The next day, he sexually abused her in a car with people watching.

But this year, said Mr Rowley, the girl’s father followed them and called the police. Neal was arrested.