May 2023

Married dad-of-four groomed girls online and plied them with booze before raping teen under Blackpool pier

A dad-of-four groomed three young girls online and plied them with booze before raping one of them under a pier in Blackpool.

A court heard how married Cristian Piscurianu had told the schoolgirls he was 18 years old when they were aged 13 and 15 and ‘not worldly wise’.

He had been in the UK for ‘a matter of weeks’ when he first began grooming the girls, who had been hanging around a supermarket.

The 26-year-old, who was aged 22 at the time, tried to persuade the girls to perform oral sex on him in March 2019.

Preston Crown Court heard that two of the girls were able to say no, but Piscurianu took the other to the beach and forced himself on her.

It left Piscurianu’s victim drinking and smoking cannabis to try and forget what had happened

Piscurianu has now been sentenced to 16 years and three months in jail after being found guilty of rape and two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. Following the incident, Piscurianu denied the offences and claimed DNA evidence found on the girl’s jeans was spittle.

He continued to deny he had raped the girl and groomed her two friends throughout a trial – but was convicted by the jury. Throughout the proceedings, the defendant was supported by his wife and members of his family who sat in the public gallery.

The court heard the defendant ‘acted with others’ to groom the teenagers. “These girls were clearly unsophisticated and not worldly wise,” Judge Lloyd said.

“From their profile pictures they were clearly children.” The judge said the girls were unfamiliar with simple sexual terms.

“They were no doubt flattered by the attention you and your friends gave them. You were on social media with one of them, prior to sexual offending against her, asking for sexy pictures, and you rang her asking to meet in the days before the offence.

“You offered the girls cigarettes and alcohol and gave one of them a bracelet. It was inevitable they would be flattered by the attention they were getting outside that shop from you and your friends.

“They initially thought it was a giggle to be in your company but they weren’t prepared for what you wanted from them. Two of them were able to say no and not be forced into anything. The other was not so lucky.

“This was grooming behaviour. You lied about your age and there was a significant disparity. In my mind, a nine or seven year disparity is significant when you are a sexually experienced, married man with children, and your victims themselves are children.”

One of the girls said since she was raped she felt scared and upset and struggled to cope with school. Following the attack she was drinking and smoking cannabis regularly to try and forget about what had happened.

Four years later she has a supportive partner but still feels uncomfortable around men she doesn’t know, she said. Another of Piscurianu’s victims said she feels anxious in crowds and does not go out alone, while the third said she is now petrified of Romanian men.

She said she has seen members of her abuser’s family while travelling on public transport and feels anxious, sometimes causing her to miss her stop. She also said her relationships with men have been affected.

Judge Lloyd said Pisturianu, of Jameson Street, Blackpool, poses a danger of serious harm and classed him as a dangerous offender.

She sentenced him to three years concurrently for each offence of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, with a further 10 years and three months for rape. She also imposed a three year extended licence period.