February 17, 2023 1.00 pm This story is over 14 months old

Man who admitted meeting teen after grooming her avoids jail

He encouraged the girl to remove her clothing

A North Lincolnshire man who admitted meeting an under-age girl after grooming her was on Friday given a suspended jail sentence.

Bernard Beacock, 37, was caught after his then partner became suspicious about his behaviour and changed his Instagram password so she could access his messages.

The content showed Beacock had been in contact with an under-age teenage girl and was making sexual suggestions towards her, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

Beacock encouraged the girl to remove her clothing and was clearly gaining sexual gratification from it, the court was told.

Police arrested Beacock as he was walking away from his home and discovered the girl had also been present at the address.

During police interview Beacock initially denied any offending but then accepted he had been in social media contact with the girl after it was pointed out his phone could be downloaded.

Beacock, of St Bernard Close, North Lincs, pleaded guilty to causing or inciting a child under 15 to engage in sexual activity and meeting a child after grooming.

Noel Philo, mitigating, told the court Beacock pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and had no relevant previous convictions.

“He is a miserable and contrite man who is wondering why he did this,” Mr Philo added.

The court heard Beacock had been in work since leaving school and his employers knew about his court appearance.

Passing sentence Recorder Simon King told Beacock he had pleaded guilty to serious offences.

“You should be under no illusion that people who did what you did receive custodial sentence,” Recorder King said.

But the Recorder added that Beacock had been assessed as a low risk of future offending by the Probation Service and a better course would be to keep him under supervision in the community.

Beacock was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for two years and must also complete 40 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days.

He was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for five years.

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