Norfolk man who had sexual relationship with teen jailed
- Credit: Norfolk Constabulary
A man who was involved in a "clandestine" sexual relationship with a teenager has been jailed.
Ashley Bingley was 24 when he became involved with a girl, who was then only 14.
They initially contacted through text messages but over time the relationship escalated into "clandestine sexual trysts" in the Dereham area.
Bingley went on trial in December accused of meeting a child through grooming, five counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of causing a child to engage in sexual activity between March and August 2016.
Bingley, now 29, of Wellington Road, Dereham, had denied all seven offences against the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, but was convicted by a jury.
He appeared in court on Tuesday, June 15, to be sentenced.
John Farmer, prosecuting, said there was no victim impact statement in the case, although the victim was listening into the hearing over a link.
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Sentencing Bingley to a total of six years, Judge Anthony Bate said a significant term of imprisonment was "inevitable given the gravity of your offending".
Judge Bate said there was a "significant disparity" between his age and the age of the victim in the case.
He said Bingley's offending escalated over time from messages into "clandestine sexual trysts" firstly at his home in Dereham and then in his car at locations around the Dereham area.
Benedict Peers, for Bingley, said the defendant had a difficult childhood with his father spending time in prison.
He said Bingley continues to deny the offences although accepts he was found guilty.
Mr Peers said the offences happened after the breakdown of a previous relationship at a time when Bingley fell into depression.
Bingley was medicated but it was "then that this chain of events started".
Mr Peers said he was now in a new relationship and had "started again".
He had asked the judge to make any sentence as short as possible.
Bingley was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) indefinitely and put on the sex offenders register for life.