A 25-year old man has been sent to prison for sexual offending in Brighton against a 13-year old girl who he met online, claiming that he was 15.
David Warrener (pictured), 25, a sales representative from Kent, was sentenced to a total of four years and eight months imprisonment when he appeared on Monday (30 January) at Lewes Crown Court having pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to three counts of penetrative sexual activity with the 13-year old, and one count of meeting her following grooming.
Detective Sergeant Paul Hitchcock of the Brighton Safeguarding and Investigation Unit said “The grooming had taken place for over a year on an online app called ‘ooVoo’, where Warrener had pretended to be a 15 year old boy. It culminated in him driving to Brighton and engaging in sexual activity with her in his car near Preston Park in August last year.
“He then continued to message the girl, telling her that she could get into trouble if she called the police.
“However, fortunately the girl did report it soon after the offence, and he was identified after extensive enquiries linking a ‘ooVoo’ account to his address in Kent”.
Sentencing him for a total of four years and eight months, Judge Christine Laing QC said “This girl was deliberately groomed by you and she thought you were 15 years old. This was no momentary lack of judgement and a particularly aggravating feature was messaging her after the offence that if she told anyone she would go to a young person’s jail”.
In addition to the custodial sentence, David Warrener was placed on the sex offenders register for life, and made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, severely restricting his access to children and computers, to last indefinitely.
Paul Hitchcock said “We will always take reports like this very seriously, investigating and also taking steps to ensure the child is safeguarded.
“If you or someone you know is at risk of grooming or any other type of child exploitation contact us either via 101, or 999 if it is happening right then.