Man jailed for ignoring warning to stay away from girl, 14

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

A 22-year-old man who ignored a police warning to stay away from a teenage girl has been sentenced to 10 months' jail.

James Pearse, of Stonefield Road, Baconsthorpe, was also put on the Sex Offender's Register for seven years at his sentencing at Norwich Crown Court on January 10.

Pearse has already been released from prison, having been on remand for five months and serving half his sentence.

Pearse defied a Child Abduction Warning Notice which police issued after an incident at his home on March 3 last year. The notice, which warned him not to have any contact with the victim, who was 14 years old at the time, was supported by the victim's father.

Over the next two months, Pearse was seen with the victim in Holt, Sheringham, Bale and Baconsthorpe.

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He was seen hugging the victim on one occasion. Another time, Pearse ran off when officers spotted him and was later found hiding under a bush in the back garden of a nearby property, and was arrested.

Detective Inspector Dave McCormack said: "We will always take robust action against those who target and exploit vulnerable young people.

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"One of the ways we can do that when there are genuine concerns about an individual we suspect of grooming a child or a young person is to issue them with a Child Abduction Warning Notice, as happened in this case.

"This is a formal warning from the police demanding they stay away from that young person or face arrest and prosecution.

"This sentence highlights our commitment to use this power whenever possible to protect our young people from those individuals who have such little disregard for their safety and welfare, and instead choose to exploit them.

"It also demonstrates the court's readiness to punish those responsible."

Pearse admitted breaching the order at the crown court in August.

He had previously admitted eight counts of child abduction, one count of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and another of sexual activity with a child between March 23 and May 9 last year.

Child Abduction Warning Notices forbid people suspected of grooming children from going near a named child and if they do so, they can be arrested.

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