Woman who groomed 13-year-old girl sentenced

The female teaching assistant who groomed a 13-year-old girl at a youth club was given a suspended jail sentence.

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Leah Roberts, 21 from E3 was sentenced on Friday, 16 December after pleading guilty to one count of grooming a girl under the age of 16.

Roberts was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment suspended for 24 months and given a five year restraining order, a 60 day rehabilitation requirement and a two year mental health order.

Roberts met the 13-year-old girl at a youth club they both attended in Tower Hamlets in the summer of 2015.

Over the next few weeks, Roberts began to send messages to the girl, eventually asking her if she was in a relationship. The girl replied she wasn’t and Roberts asked her how old she was. On hearing the girl was only aged 13, Roberts replied that age was only a number and continued to pursue the girl.

In September 2015, Roberts and the girl began a relationship. The pair kissed and, although there was no other sexual contact, Roberts sent the girl messages of a sexual nature.

After three weeks, the girl decided to end the relationship with Roberts, feeling it was wrong. She confided in one of the workers at the youth club and police were informed.

Roberts was arrested and subsequently charged with grooming.

Detective Constable Phillipa Kenwright of Tower Hamlets Police led the investigation. She said: “Leah Roberts took advantage of a young girl, pursuing her with the intention of engaging in a sexual relationship. Roberts knew full well that the girl was 13 but this made no difference to her.

“I would urge any young girls who think they are being led or pressured into a sexual relationship to contact police.”

Source: Met Police

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Written by Tower Hamlets Reporter

The information contained in my articles is for general information purposes only.

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