A SOLIHULL man who kidnapped and sexually assaulted a vulnerable teenage girl has been jailed.
Retired Steven Perry of Rothwell Drive was jailed for six years after being convicted of false imprisonment, kidnapping with intent to commit a sexual offence and sexual assault.
The 64-year-old spotted the 14-year-old alone in Hastings town centre, East Sussex, and – pretending to want to help her – took her to an address in nearby Bexhill, where she was sexually assaulted.
Brighton Crown Court heard police were alerted to a teenage girl being followed by a man in a white vehicle in Gorselands, Bexhill, at around midnight on Saturday, June 27 last year.
The girl was seen to get into the vehicle which drove away.
East Sussex police tracked down the suspect vehicle and Perry to a bungalow in Withyham Road, Cooden, Bexhill, the address of a relative where he was staying.
The victim was not there but was later found safe at an address belonging to her family.
Detective constable Ollie Bali of the East Sussex safeguarding investigations unit said; “Our investigation found that Perry had spotted the vulnerable girl alone in Hastings town centre, and on the pretext of looking after her, made her come with him to the Bexhill address where he sexually assaulted her before driving her to the other address.
“It was after they left the bungalow that they were seen apparently arguing by the member of the public who thankfully called us.
“Perry had clearly taken advantage of the young girl’s vulnerability to compel her to go with him for his own sexual gratification, only releasing her when she began to resist him.
“She bravely gave her evidence via videolink and this was clearly an important factor in helping ensure that justice was done.”
Perry will also be a registered sex offender indefinitely and was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order severely restricting his access to children until further court notice.
The court also gave Perry a ten-year Restraining Order prohibiting contact with the victim and witnesses.