Sex predator jailed indefinitely

PUBLISHED: 10:20 14 August 2009 | UPDATED: 23:57 15 June 2010

A sexual predator who groomed a teenager schoolgirl for sex over an internet chat line has been jailed for public protection and will not be released until he is assessed as no longer posing a risk to children.

A sexual predator who groomed a teenager schoolgirl for sex over an internet chat line has been jailed for public protection and will not be released until he is assessed as no longer posing a risk to children.

At Exeter Crown Court Judge Graham Cottle told 45-year-old Paul Cox: "This is an extremely worrying case and you have distorted attitudes and beliefs. It is clear at this stage that you pose a significant risk of serious harm to young girls. That risk will continue if untreated and I have decided that means imprisonment for public protection.

"An experienced probation officer says your release should not take place until that risk is further assessed and I agree with that."

The court had heard the schoolgirl was sexually abused by a Cox who groomed her through a mobile phone chat line.

The 15 year old and Cox began texting each other after meeting through a friend of hers.

Prosecutor Richard Crabb said the text messages led to Cox meeting the girl at Tesco in Honiton and she took him back to her home nearby where he sexually abused her in her bedroom.

A jury at an earlier trial heard things started to go wrong for Cox when the girls' mother heard her daughter talking on her phone at three in the morning and confiscated it.

But Cox unaware of this kept sending text messages which set the alarm bells ringing and when the girl's parents confronted her she told them what had been going on.

Her father the telephoned Cox and told him in no uncertain terms to leave his daughter alone.

The prosecutor said prior to that happening the defendant and the girl had exchanged sex pictures of each other and he had groomed her with the intention of committing a sex offence.

Mr Crabb said Cox had also threatened a friend of the victim when she refused to meet him. Speaking to her on his mobile phone he pretended to be part of a gang and said the girl would be 'gang raped' and 'have a bottle put in her face.' She was clearly terrified by Cox's threats.

The court heard when the police were called in Cox tried to lay false trails. He claimed he had lost the mobile in the woods near his home and also said it was the girl who had contacted him and took the lead in suggesting and participating in the sex acts that took place. He said he had gone along with it because he felt sorry for her.

Mr Crabb claimed that Cox was clever and cunning at trying to avoid his responsibilities.

Cox of West Bradford, Holsworthy had pleaded not guilty to two charges of sexual activity with a child, one of causing or inciting a girl to engage in sex, one of meeting a child following sexual grooming, two of encouraging the commission of an offence by making and sending indecent pictures and one of harassment.

He was convicted on all charges and his counsel Iain Leadbetter said the case showed the perils of internet chat lines.

In addition to the jail term Judge Cottle banned Cox from working with child for life and also ordered he sign on the Sex Offenders' Register indefinitely.


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