Sex attacker caught after live streaming victim, 13, in bed

Simon Price.

Simon Price. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary.

A Norfolk man who sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl was discovered after the victim’s mother saw the offender on a phone watching her sleep, a court has heard.

Simon Price, 40, met a girl on a gaming platform in November 2019 when he said he was 26 and the victim said she was older than she was.

Norwich Crown Court heard after a while conversations between the two moved to Instagram and became more personal, including his medical illnesses and her difficulties.

Benedict Peers, prosecuting, said “conversation became increasingly flirtatious”.

Price, of The Fallows, Taverham, began behaving as if they were in a relationship.

The conversation became more sexualised and they exchanged images and videos as well as live streaming each other.

Mr Peers said there came a time when the victim blocked Price on Instagram but he contacted her on other social media sites.

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The court was told she was to tell police she felt “guilty” due to his medical history.

In March last year Price drove down to the south coast where he picked up the victim and sexually assaulted her in the back of his car on the sea front.

The victim told police she “froze” during the course of the assaults.

Mr Peers said following the sexual assaults Price “encouraged” her to self harm and said “he wanted to help her do it”.

The offences came to light after the victim’s mother came into her bedroom in May last year and found her asleep.

But “she could see a man watching her during a live stream video on her phone”.

Police were contacted and Price was later identified.

A victim impact from the teenager described how she had been self harming more and did not feel safe being on her own anymore.

She said she found it hard to trust people because she did not want to be lied to.

A victim statement from her mother described the “horror” she felt at what had happened and how it affected her daughter as well as her, her partner and other daughter.

She also could not put out of her mind the picture of her daughter asleep next to the phone with the defendant watching.

Price appeared in court for sentence on Monday, February 1 having previously admitted an offence of an adult meeting a girl under 16 following grooming and two counts of sexual activity with a girl.

He also admitted an offence of engaging in sexual communication with a child and one count of making an indecent photo of a child.

Price was given an extended sentence of 10 years four months made up of five and a half years in custody with an additional five years on licence.

Judge Andrew Shaw said Price posed a significant risk of serious harm to members of the public.

He said Price had “lied about your age” and groomed her before committing the sexual assaults on her.

Price was also made the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) and put on the sex offenders' register for life.

Andrew Oliver, mitigating, said the best mitigation he could advance were his guilty pleas which demonstrated his contrition.

He said it was clear the victim was vulnerable to his grooming and had suffered a deterioration in her mental health.
But Mr Oliver said it was a deterioration in the mental health of the defendant, who suffers from multiple personality disorder, which precipitated these offences.

He added Price suffered abuse as a child himself during a severely traumatic childhood.

Mr Oliver said Price had believed the victim to be older but by the time he committed the physical offences against her “knew her true age”.

He referred to it as the “biggest mistake of my life” and is appalled he harmed a child in the way he was harmed as a child.
 

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