Sex offender who groomed girl, 14, jailed for two years

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A 27-year-old man who “groomed” a teenage girl before committing a sexual act in her presence has been jailed for two years.

William Edward Frear, of Brunswick Gardens, Halifax, was cleared by a jury at Bradford Crown Court last November of a number of other sexual allegations relating to the same complainant, but he was convicted of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

The court heard that Frear was 24 and the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was about 14 when he started kissing her and then performed a sex act on himself.

Frear, who will now be subject to registration as a sex offender for the next 10 years, also admitted a further charge of common assault which related to an incident in a Halifax pub when he pushed a man over.

He received a concurrent sentence of one month in prison for that offence.

Barrister Joanne Shepherd urged Judge Peter Benson to consider suspending the prison sentence on the father-of-two, but he said Frear had “groomed” the teenage girl and there was a significant disparity in their ages at the time.

“It’s clear to me that you were attracted to this young girl and you went about pursuing a relationship with her and groomed her,” the judge told Frear.

The judge noted that Frear had shown no remorse and said there was no reason to suspend the prison term.

As part of his sentence Frear will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for five years which restricts his contact with girls under 16.