Internet sex predator groomed girl, 14

A SEX predator who groomed a young girl over a website designed for vulnerable people has been jailed.

Laurence Cawley

A SEX predator who groomed a young girl over a website designed for vulnerable people has been jailed.

Kevin King, 22, of Tayfen Road in Bury St Edmunds, met the 14-year-old on a website used by victims of abuse or self-harmers.

King, who has a previous conviction for downloading child sex abuse images, pretended to be a “sympathetic confidante” who his victim could talk to and trust.

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He was found guilty by a jury at Maidstone Crown Court and has now been jailed for 33 months, banned from working with children indefinitely and has been given a sexual offences prevention order.

During the case King denied meeting a girl following sexual grooming but was found guilty.

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The court was told how King had met the girl on the website Recover Your Life and continued to contact her through instant messaging, webcam and mobile telephone.

Hanna Llewellyn-Waters, prosecuting, said King manipulated the girl, who was vulnerable and receptive to his charms.

“He tried to present to her as a friendly and approachable grown-up,” she said. “He chose to adopt a grooming approach designed to flatter her and encourage her affections.”

The ruse was discovered when the girl's stepfather became concerned about messages she was receiving.

One said her sexy smile made him want her even more, another that he loved her. He also told her he was “not a perv”, although she was “cute for her age”.

The court was told how, after he became concerned, the girl's stepfather monitored her use of the family computer and saw a photograph of King wearing a bus driver's shirt. King had said he was a bus driver.

The defendant was even said to have told the teenager he was worried the law would regard him as grooming her for sexual activity.

“He was testing her reaction for sex,” Miss Llewellyn-Waters said. “He was testing the water with her.”

When arrested, King said: “Fair enough.” He denied wanting sex with her.

After the jury returned its guilty verdict, it emerged King also had convictions for indecent exposure and harassment and threats to kill an ex-girlfriend.

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