A man who groomed a teenage girl for sex has been jailed for six years today, Tuesday, October 28.
Aaron Gadsden, 23, had sex with a 15 year old girl he met through the army cadets and committed further sex offences on two more teenage girls he met through Facebook.
At Luton crown court Judge Richard Foster said the impact of Gadsden’s offending on his young victims was “horrific.”
He said one girl’s self esteem had plummeted to such a low that, in her despair, she had scratched the word “slut” into her body.
Gadsden, of Wadsworth Court, Bedford, appeared in custody having earlier admitted three offences of sexual activity with a child and two offences of meeting a child following sexual grooming.
Beverley Cripps prosecuting said the offences involved three teenage girls.
In 2012 Gadsden had befriended a 15 year old schoolgirl at an army cadet group.
He was a civilian assistant and trainer and, over a period of time, groomed her for sex.
It resulted in him having sex with her while she was still 15 and, in September of last year, she went to the police to tell them what had been happening.
Miss Cripps said after Gadsden was arrested he was eventually granted bail and went on to committ further offences with young girls he had met through Facebook.
One young girl was only 14, but Gadsden, pretending to be a teenager himself aged 17, persuaded her to send him pictures of her breasts.
He responded by sending her pictures of his genitals.
The court heard when the girl refused his request to meet her for sex he threatened to put the pictures of her breasts on his Facebook page.
As a result they met up and he took her back to his bedsit where a sex offence took place.
Gadsden then contacted a 15 year old girl through Facebook, pretending to be a 17 year old.
He asked her how sexually experienced she was and, after persuading her to meet him, told her to dress “slutty.”
After meeting her in a park in Elstow, he took her back to his bedsit where he had full sex with her.
Francis McGrath, defending, said Gadsden himself had been a vulnerable teenager and suffered bullying at school over a skin condition he had suffered from, which had undermined his confidence and emotional development.
While in custody he said his client had undergone therapy to help him with some of his issues.
Passing sentence Judge Richard Foster told Gadsden “There is no doubt in my mind that you are dangerous because of what you have done in this case and what you are capable of.
He jailed him for six years and made him the subject of a sexual offences prevention order to run for an indefinite period.
>> While numerous offenders have been jailed for similar offences, the sentencing today is the first ‘Child Sexual Exploitation’ conviction secured by Bedfordshire Police and Detective Inspector Jerry Waite praised the work of his officers as well
as recognising the bravery of the victims.
DI Waite said: “Cases concerning sexual offences of children are always extremely complex and have to be dealt with sensitively. The victims in this case had all built up relationships with Gadsden without realising that they were being exploited by him for his own gratification. They all showed great bravery in coming forward, recognising that they were victims and then discussing what had happened with officers.
“Child Sexual Exploitation is an offence that is taken very seriously by Bedfordshire Police and it is a top priority for the force. We have a team in place who are specially trained to deal with this type of offence and our officers would encourage
anyone who believes that they may have been or still are a victim, to come forward and speak with us.
“The sentence handed out today is a clear example that action can be taken and those guilty of exploiting children for sexual purposes can and will end up in prison.”
Anyone with information relating to Child Sexual Exploitation can contact Bedfordshire Police, in confidence, by calling 101 and speaking with the Safeguarding Investigation Unit.
Alternatively you can contact the independent crime fighting charity, Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.