Dereham man, Samuel Pickering, who sexually assaulted teenager is spared jail
- Credit: Archant
A Dereham man who sexually assaulted a teenager and sent indecent images of himself has been given a two year suspended sentence and placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.
Samuel Pickering, 28, of Boundary Close, appeared at Norwich Crown Court today after previously pleading guilty to two counts of sexual assault by touching of a child under the age of 16.
The charges related to incidents which happened between May and September 2014. The court heard that Pickering befriended his victim, offering him cash and an iPad, in order to gain his trust before carrying out the assaults.
He also sent the victim indecent messages and images, which were seen by a friend and prompted the police investigation. Pickering was arrested and a subsequent search of his home address led to police seizing a number of electronic items, including his laptop and phone. Officers found a number of messages to younger males on his mobile phone, although they were not of a sexual nature.
Appearing before Judge Maureen Bacon, Pickering was given a two year suspended sentence, placed on the Sex Offenders Register for a period of 10 years and a five year Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
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Investigating officer, Detective Constable Steve Harrowing, said: 'This case highlights how offenders can target young people through exploitation; offering gifts and money in return for their trust and creating situations where they can be alone together.
'Sexual behaviours are then normalised with low level sexual touching, as seen in this case. Fortunately a friend of the victim found the inappropriate messages which eventually resulted in police being made aware of the case. When this doesn't happen, the behaviour can often escalate to more serious sexual activity.
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'This case again shows police will investigate reports of sexual offences thoroughly, with dedicated officers working closely with the victims of such offences to bring offenders to justice.'