Great Yarmouth man Christopher Neill sentenced after girl is sexually assaulted in Lowestoft park
- Credit: Archant
A 20-year-old man has been sentenced to three years and ten months in a young offenders' institution after admitting grooming and sexual activity with a child, following an incident in a Lowestoft park.
Christopher Neill, of Marsh Road in Great Yarmouth, was arrested by Suffolk Police detectives on Monday, March 27 after a girl reported that she had been sexually assaulted in Fen Park, south Lowestoft about 4pm on Sunday, March 26 after meeting a man she had contact with on Facebook.
She had arranged to meet him for the first time in person after having contact via the social media site, but things had quickly escalated.
Neill was taken into custody and interviewed before being charged. He originally appeared before Norwich Magistrates on Wednesday, March 29 and was remanded in custody.
He appeared at King's Lynn Crown Court last Thursday, May 4, where he was sentenced after pleading guilty to three offences – sexual activity with a girl under 16, meeting a girl under 16 following grooming and breaching a sexual harm prevention order.
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The order, made by Norwich Crown Court on November 17, 2016, prohibited him from contacting any girl under the age of 16 or being in the company of any female under the age of 16.
He was sentenced to 24 months for the grooming offence, 12 months for breaching the order and 40 months for sexual activity with a child – all to run concurrently, with a further six months added for breach of a suspended sentence, taking the total to 46 months - three years and ten months – in a young offenders institution.
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He was also given a sexual harm prevention order for 15 years and ordered to sign on the sexual offenders register indefinitely.
Speaking after the case, Det Insp Simon Bridgland said: 'Neill knew he wasn't allowed to contact girls aged under 16 due to the order made in November and yet arranged to meet her in the park and then walked with her to a secluded area.
'We will take swift and robust action against those who target young people through this type of grooming and are pleased that Neill has been jailed. 'We would like to thank the girl for her courage throughout the investigation.'