Man jailed for sexual activity with a child - St Albans

14/02/2014

A 13-year-old girl who was lost near Watford Junction station ended up performing a sex act on a man in an underpass.

The girl had travelled by train from her home in Northampton hoping to meet a boy she had contacted over the internet at Willesden junction.

But, St Albans Crown Court heard today, Friday, 14 February 2014, that she became confused and got off the train at Watford.  After wandering around, she came across Nigerian Richard Nwani, 28, from Upper Clapton in East London, who talked to her, before they had sexual activity.

Prosecutor Isabel Delamere said the girl was just 13 years and 2 days old when she left home on 31 July last year hoping to meet the boy. "She mistook Watford junction for Willesden junction and she never met him," she said.

The girl, who had been reported missing by her family, had lost the charge on her mobile phone. She wandered around and came across Nwani, who lied to her about his age. He was in fact a married man, whose wife has since given birth to their child.  Nwani told the victim she looked older than 13, but the prosecutor told the court that she thought the girl was young-looking for her age.

After the girl had performed the sex act, she caught the train back to Northampton. She did not tell the police what had happened, but told her sister. Officers were then informed. Nwani was arrested after the police made a DNA match.

Nwani, of Wealdstone Road, Upper Clapton, London, E5, pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child on 31 July last year. He had no previous convictions, but has been refused leave to remain in the UK.

Defence barrister Sien Loke said: "He had ruined his relationship with his wife and has missed the birth of his first child. The offence was opportunistic and not targeted."  She asked for credit for his guilty plea, which meant the girl did not have to give evidence.

Judge Stephen Gullick told him: "This was an opportunist offence. She was lost." He jailed him for 2 years and 9 months. He said he must register as a sex offender for as long as he lives in the UK.

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