A former Eastbourne man has been jailed for having sex with a schoolgirl and fathering her child.
Fifty-two-year-old Andrew Crowhurst, who lived and worked locally before moving to the Midlands, had sex with the schoolgirl about 12 times and engaged in other sexual activity with her on other occasions, including a visit to Eastbourne.
But the youngster fell pregnant and had a child, which led to the authorities intervening to find out who the father was.
The teenager eventually disclosed that the defendant was the father.
Now Crowhurst has been jailed for four years and eight months at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
Crowhurst worked at Halford’s locally and lived in Hampden Park, Shinewater and Hailsham.
In reports in the Stoke Sentinel newspaper, prosecutor Fiona Cortese said the girl gave birth to her child last year.
Miss Cortese said, “Throughout her pregnancy she refused to disclose who the father was.
“She disclosed to her mum the defendant was the father but when she went to challenge him she said it was a boy from school.”
After the child was born the teenager told the authorities Crowhurst was the father.
She said they had engaged in sex without using protection.
The defendant was arrested and was frank in his police interview.
He said he had not groomed the girl. He said he was looking for a companion following the recent death of his parents, Kenneth and Monica Crowhurst. He added the sexual relationship ended some weeks before she gave birth.
Crowhurst, who was living in Leek, Staffordshire, pleaded guilty to three charges of sexual activity with a child.
Kevin Mortlock, mitigating, said the defendant has accepted his wrongdoing, which is the first step on the path to rehabilitation.
Mr Mortlock said, “He felt bad that the girl became pregnant.
“He expresses regret, through me, that she went through that ordeal as a result of having unprotected sex.”
Mr Mortlock said that Crowhurst does not seek any contact with the teenager.
Judge David Fletcher made Crowhurst the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order which prevents him having unsupervised contact with girls under the age of 16.
He will also be on the sex offenders’ register for life.
Judge Fletcher said, “She was a teenage girl and you were 51. That is a massive disparity in age. You were, and are, old enough to be her grandfather.
“You are not suffering from any form of mental disability or illness. It is difficult to imagine anything more abnormal than this behaviour.
“It is difficult to imagine the damage caused by your behaviour to a child who then becomes a mother of a child. She goes through the trauma and discomfort of pregnancy and child birth and the child is then taken away from her, all when she is still a girl and a child. I think that is going to affect her for the rest of her life.
“To say she may have instigated the sex may be true. You had to say one word – no. You knew it was completely and utterly wrong on every level and you continued to do it. It is shocking behaviour by someone in your position.”
* Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make our website your homepage at www.eastbourneherald.co.uk
2 Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ Eastbourne-Herald-and-Gazette
3 Follow us on Twitter @Eastbournenews
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
The Eastbourne Herald - always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.