Paedophile deceived family and drove 70 miles to meet girl, 14, for sex

Robert Smith travelled to Hull to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex.
Robert Smith travelled to Hull to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex.
0
Have your say

The full extent of harm caused to a 14-year-old grooming victim by a Yorkshire man is not yet known, a detective has said after her abuser was jailed.

Robert Smith deceived his family in Halifax in order to fulfil his sexual desires as he travelled to Hull to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex.

Smith, 34, targeted his victim online, before travelling 70 miles to Hull to meet her in a hotel where he sexually abused her repeatedly.

Police investigating the case said "they dread to think" how many other victims Smith could have abused had he not been caught by officers, who also discovered indecent images on his computer.

Detective Sergeant Stuart Fox, from Humberside Police, said: "Robert Smith knew the girl he was meeting was only a 14-year-old child and met her on a number of occasions.

"His sexual grooming of the young girl developed into full sexual intercourse.

"He lied and deceived his family in Halifax in order to fulfil his sexual desires and he was willing to travel a lengthy distance to Hull to exploit his victim.

"He met his victim in a local hotel, ensuring that this went undetected by staff."

Humberside Police said it is working closely with the hotel to make sure staff are aware of how they can identify vulnerable people.

The hotel has now introduced new procedures and technology to make sure it can help police prevent vulnerable young people being exploited in the future.

Det Sgt Fox said: "The victim in this investigation was, and still is, a vulnerable child. It isn't yet known the true extent of the effect of what has happened to her and she is being supported by relevant supportive agencies."

Smith, of Bentley Avenue, Halifax was yesterday jailed for four years and eight months after he pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexual activity with a child, three counts of making indecent pictures and one count of possession of extreme pornography.

Police are encouraging anyone who thinks they have been sexually exploited or know anyone that has to contact officers in complete confidence.

Det Sgt Fox said: " We will listen and we will act.

“The investigation of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) cases are conducted by dedicated detectives such as DC Nicola Gibbs who will listen and support victims throughout investigations. We want to stop what happened to this young girl happening to anyone else.

“You can call us in confidence on our non-emergency number 101.”