July 2023

Victim uses secret camera to record and trap man who sexually abused her

A girl who was groomed by a sex abuser trapped him by secretly setting up a camera on her phone to record his behaviour.

Hull Crown Court heard how Lewis Harrison, 32, intimately touched the girl and kissed her during a series of incidents.

Harrison tried to pretend the girl had a ‘crush’ on him but this was deemed a ‘frankly absurd excuse’ by the judge.

Harrison claimed to have touched the girl to comfort her.

The girl wanted to show evidence of what had happened to her by recording Harrison from the secret camera on her phone.

Judge Mark Bury said Harrison was sexually attracted to the girl after coming into contact with her.

‘You will have known exactly how old she was,’ he said.

The judge said there was ‘some grooming and planning involved’, and continued: ‘You sought to say that she had a crush on you. I reject that suggestion on the evidence that I have heard. You developed a sexual interest in her.

‘You appear to me to be sexually preoccupied. It is to be hoped that she will be able to put behind her this offending by you in due course.

‘She has the comfort of knowing that her evidence has, by and large, been agreed by the jury and she will have the satisfaction of seeing you sentenced to a term of imprisonment.’

Harrison was a heavy drinker and crack cocaine addict but the judge said: ‘There is no evidence that you committed any of these offences while under the influence of drink or, indeed, drugs.

‘There is no evidence that you plied her with either drink or drugs. You had on previous occasions been inappropriate with her, but she had no proof.

‘She has been very brave to continue with this complaint.’

Stephen Robinson, mitigating, said Harrison was drinking a lot and taking drugs at the time. Harrison had previous convictions but the most recent was some time ago and there was nothing of this seriousness. ‘He has shown that he can stay out of trouble,’ said Mr Robinson.

‘There has been no previous sexual offending. He has stopped taking drugs and now hardly drinks.’

Harrison, of Biggin Avenue, Bransholme, Hull, denied four offences of sexual activity with a child, but he was convicted by a jury after the trial. He was cleared of two other offences.

He was jailed for two-and-a-half years and must register as a sex offender for 10 years. He was given a five-year restraining order.