April 2021

Teenager’s sex acts with girls aged 13 and 14

A teenager who committed sex acts with girls aged 13 and 14 has been sentenced to 20 months in a young offenders’ institution after finally admitting his guilt on the second day of his trial.

Declan Pugh had denied any inappropriate behaviour with the girls, who he met via social messaging.

But probation reports about him show he continues to pose a high risk of serious harm to pre-pubescent girls.

Sentencing him at Bolton Crown Court, Judge Graeme Smith told him he had “little consideration for the views expressed by the girls. You were, at the time prioritising your own desires”.

Pugh, now aged 19, met the first girl when she was aged 13 and he was 16 but Jonathan Dickinson, prosecuting, told the court that, although the girl did not want to go along with his sexual demands, which on two occasions included intercourse, she did so because she did not want to “let him down”.

Pugh also sexually touched another 14-year-old girl when she thought she had been invited to his bedroom to watch a movie.

Mr Dickinson said that when the girl objected to him touching her private parts and she got up to leave he told her, “don’t be a tease”.

The girl burst into tears after leaving the house and told staff at her school what had happened.

Pugh, of Laburnum Grove, Horwich, was arrested but denied wrongdoing until his trial when he pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual offences against the girls.

Keith Jones, defending, said Pugh accepts his behaviour was “wholly inappropriate”.

“He was naive, sexually immature and hormonal,” he added.

“He tells me that if he could undo his actions he would do so immediately. There are no winners in this case.”

But Judge Smith told the factory worker that the girls had been badly affected.

“As a result of your actions and also your refusal to accept any responsibility at all until the trial itself, until when you denied there had been any sexual contact at all, those two victims have suffered considerable psychological harm,” he said.

Pugh was placed on the sex offenders’ register and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.