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Hereford man sexually groomed girl he met at skatepark
4:49pm Wednesday 19th September 2012 in News
A “DANGEROUS” Hereford man who sexually groomed a young girl he met at a skateboard park has been jailed for eight years.
Matthew Harris sent the girl, who was under 13, texts and messages on Facebook including some that made reference to them making a date to have sex.
Alex Warren, prosecuting, told Worcester Crown Court that the Facebook site was seen by the girl's mother in June this year and she was “sickened” by the messages.
The 27-year-old had used aliases including Norman Harris and Sharky Harris and had also sent texts saying he wanted to meet the girl alone.
Mr Warren said they had kept in contact after meeting at the skate park.
He said Harris had been given a jail sentence for sex with a girl under 16 in February, 2008, and had been banned from going near children.
Harris pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to sexual grooming, breaching the prevention order and of failing to notify that he had spent time away from his address in Queensway, College Estate, Hereford, after he moved in with a new partner.
Lynette McClement, defending, said the earlier offence had been a consensual relationship with a girl who was almost 16.
She said Harris had an abusive past and was unable to relate to adults, and needed to be with people younger than himself to “bolster his ego”.
Judge Patrick Thomas said he accepted that Harris had emerged from childhood “seriously damaged”.
But he said Harris was a “danger” and posed a significant risk to young girls who had to be protected from him and he hoped the extended sentence would give him a chance to get help.
He gave Harris eight years for the sexual grooming with three years for breaching the order and three years for failing to notify his change of address, both to run concurrently.
The 95 days he has already spent in custody will be deducted.