Febuary 2010

Sex predator jailed for four years

SEX offender Ashley Coles has been locked up for four years after taking advantage of a vulnerable teenage girl.

There were claims the girl later became pregnant and suffered a miscarriage, but these were not categorically confirmed, a court heard.

Coles, 20, of Grimsby, whose last known address was a hostel, denied rape and two offences of engaging in sexual activity with a girl on July 29.

But he was convicted by a jury at Grimsby Crown Court of the two sexual activity charges. He was cleared of rape.

Edward Bindloss, prosecuting, told the trial that the offences happened in a flat in Grimsby where the girl lived.

Coles touched her indecently and they later went to a bedroom, where they had sex.

The prosecution claimed Coles knew she was under 16 and that they had sex without the girl’s consent.

Mr Bindloss said the girl claimed she became pregnant and had a miscarriage.

Investigations carried out by the prosecution had failed to confirm this absolutely and there was no concrete evidence.

It appeared the girl had been to see a doctor, but had apparently not returned for another appointment.

At a resumed hearing before Sheffield Crown Court, Judge Graham Robinson told Coles the offences were so serious that only a substantial custodial sentence was appropriate.

The jury had rejected claims by Coles the girl was an “out and out liar” and he had put the victim through the “ordeal” of having to give evidence.

“You fought your trial and lost,” said Judge Robinson.

He added it was precisely because pregnancy was a danger in such cases that the law prohibited sex with under-age girls “to protect children from themselves”.

It was an aggravating feature that no protection was used during the unlawful sex, he said.

Coles was ordered to register as a sex offender for life.

Bernard Gateshill, mitigating, said Coles had been in custody on remand for 201 days.

He added Coles was of previous good character.

The mother of the teenage victim of Ashley Coles has welcomed his conviction.

The woman told the Grimsby Telegraph: “I am so proud of the way she has coped. We love her to the end of the world. We believe every word she has told us.

“Her sister and her sister’s fiance love her to bits.”

The mother insisted she believed the girl became pregnant and had a miscarriage.