Pervert who attacked teen on country lane said he wanted ‘to make sure her boyfriend was doing things right’
A paedophile sexually assaulted a teenager, weeks after her 16th birthday, and send explicit sexual messages to two police officers he believed were underage girls.
Stephen Powell, 41, has been jailed for 40 months for his deviant activity towards teenagers.
Ms Hack, prosecuting, told Preston Crown Court that in October 2019, Powell drove the girl to an area he called ‘Shaggers Lane’ in Beacon Country Park near Skelmersdale.
The youngster said she wanted to talk about a row with a member of her family but Powell made a comment about her friend’s boobs which the girl said was ‘inappropriate’.
Powell went on to quiz the teenager about sexual activity with her boyfriend and described sex with his ex partner.
He then asked if he could touch the teenager sexually, but the girl said no.
He asked if he could teach her to perform sex acts, but again she refused.
But Ms Hack said Powell ignored the girl’s response and “did it anyway”, touching the girl over her clothing. He told her he had had the snip, “so there won’t be any kids”.
In a police interview the girl said she was terrified and froze. She said she felt “frightened, disgusted and shocked.”
She told police they were in the parked car for around 45 minutes before Powell drove her home and later texted her to check she had got in alright.
The following day, the girl told a family member what had happened and Powell was arrested.
He told officers he had not touched the youngster sexually but had brushed against her.
He said he had asked to touch her to make sure her boyfriend was doing things right and she wasn’t being misled or taken advantage of.
When asked if this was a wise thing to do, Powell replied: “No, she’s 16.”
A few days later, officers working on an operation to catch online predators identified Powell as a man who had been speaking to a decoy named Lucy, who was posing as a 13-year-old girl.
Using a screen name of ‘NorthWestSingle’, Powell sent a sexually explicit video of himself and engaged in sex chat, using the Kik messenger application.
During the conversation, the decoy claimed to be 13, and discussed being at school.
In September 2022, while on bail for the previous offences, Powell was caught for a second time, this time by a decoy posing as ‘Izzy’, 12.
Powell said he wanted to meet up with the youngster for sexual activity.
During his police interview, Powell, of Eskdale, Skelmersdale, denied having a sexual interest in children and claimed he had been fuelled by cocaine when he committed the offences.
He pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault of the 16-year-old on the first day of a trial at Preston Crown Court.
In a victim impact statement, the girl said she was anxious and withdrawn following the incident at Beacon Country Park.
She dropped out of her college course and her relationship with her boyfriend broke down. She also moved away from the area as she was worried about running into the defendant while he was on bail.
Judge Richard Gioserano, sentencing, said: “You exploited and abused the trust this girl placed in you.
You asked to touch her, pretending this was part of some conversation about her sexual experience and when she said you couldn’t, you did it anyway.
Perhaps you thought you could somehow manipulate this 16-year-old girl into having sexual activity with a 39-year-old man.
“She, not surprisingly, was afraid and shocked and she became very scared of what was going to happen.
Even when you drove her home, you had the gall to say you would make sure she was safe, and even after you left her you messaged to say you were glad she was home safe.
“It wasn’t sexual bit it wasn’t innocuous. You were still trying to manipulate her emotionally, perhaps in the hope something sexual would happen.
“Even though you were awaiting trial you weren’t able to control your sexual interest in young girls and you were caught online by another police officer posing as a 12-year-old girl.”
He sentenced Powell to 10 months for the first offence of attempted sexual communication with a child, six months for the second offence and two years concurrently for each of the sexual assaults on the teenager.
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