MP's Fury Over Teenage Grooming Case

Offender had admitted text offences but walked free

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Angie Bray MP

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Ealing's Local MP, Angie Bray, says she is outraged that a man who admitted harrassing and sexually grooming a 14 year old girl has walked free from court.

She raised the case during a commons debate on Child Sexual Exploitation (13th November 2012)

The teenager had been subjected to an 18-month campaign of harrassment receiving around 2,000 sexually explicit texts from the husband of a family friend.

After trying to cope, the Ealing schoolgirl eventually broke down under the stress. She told her parents who informed the police.

The man admitted everything in a written statement, including that he had asked her to meet up with him.

He was initially charged with intending to meet up with a minor for the purpose of rape, but this was changed to intending to meet up with a minor for the purposes of sexual activity.

The man pleaded not-guilty and the teenager was grilled by the defendants lawyer via a video link.

Because the meeting between the man and teenager never actually occured the judge was compelled - by law- to instruct the jury to find him not guilty. He walked free from court.

Ealing Central and Acton MP Angie Bray says she's horrified that proof of intending to commit an offence is not enough. She says it's wrong and there must be stronger laws to protect children:

'' A young girl of 14 has been verbally raped, and a man twice her age has been forcing his unwanted attentions on her, which she could not resist.

'' Surely it is likely that if his texts had been racist or homophobic, he would be behind bars by now.

''What protection are we offering young girls in circumstances like my young constituent? We must do better, and, if necessary, we must have new legal sanctions.''



15th November 2012