Predatory paedophile from Halton abused young girl over 'a number of months'

A 'dangerous and callous' paedophile who preyed on a 13-year-old girl has been jailed.

By Richard Beecham
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 12:01 pm

A sentencing hearing at Leeds Crown Court on Friday, June 17, heard how Lee Kitching, 44, of Halton Moor Road, manipulated a 13-year-old girl into believing she was 'in love with him', before taking advantage of her sexually.

Read More

Read More
Bori Benko murder: Killer who stabbed youth worker 40 times in her West Yorkshir...

Kitching began sending inappropriate messages to the child from June 2019, and had encouraged her to send explicit photos before they eventually met at his house on several occasions.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Kitching received an eight-and-a-half year prison sentence.

The court was then told Kirching made the girl engage in sexual activity with him six times - with offences taking place between August and October that year.

Kitching had pleaded guilty to making an indecent photograph of a child and possessing extreme pornographic images, but not guilty to the counts of sexual activity with a child. Those charges went to trial in May, where he was ultimately convicted.

Mitigating for Kitching, who was 41 at the time of his offences, Ian Hudson told the court said there had been no further offending in the last three years.

Sentencing Kitching, Recorder Simon Myerson said: "You took the matter to trial and she was cross-examined on the basis that this was just a fantasy of hers and yours - you told them nothing had happened.

"Your defence was a lie from start to finish. It was not only untrue but evidentially an example of the callous attitude towards the relationships adults should have with children.

"You said it was okay that you were three times her age 'because nothing happened' - this is an insight to the danger you pose.

"When the opportunity presented itself, you were quick to take it. This young girl was made to feel like she was in love with you and it has taken her five years to realise that was a false position inflicted by you to take advantage.

"There were opportunities for you to press the brake button and you did not."

Kitching was sentenced to eight years and six months in jail, and will have to sign the sex offenders' register for life.

Detective Inspector Emma Wight, of Leeds District Safeguarding Unit, said: “Kitching cynically groomed this vulnerable young girl and sexually exploited her repeatedly over a number of months.

"We hope that his conviction for these offences and the significant sentence he has received will give some degree of comfort to the victim and her family.

“We will always treat reports of offences such as these very seriously and do everything we can to support victims and make sure those responsible are held to account.

“The successful outcome of this challenging investigation once again illustrates the hard work and dedication of our specialist safeguarding officers, and we hope it will give victims the confidence to come forward.”