Pervert jailed for “corrupting” Leeds teenager

Philip Forsyth.
Philip Forsyth.
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A PERVERT has been jailed more than three decades after he abducted a 14-year-old girl and “corrupted” her by introducing her to life as a sex worker.

Philip Forsyth gained the teenager’s trust before running away with her to London where she spent six months working in the seedy strip bars of Soho.

Leeds Crown Court heard Forsyth and the youngster returned to Leeds after he got her pregnant.

Forsyth, 59, was jailed for 28 months after pleading guilty to indecent assault, child abduction and child cruelty. The offences date back to the early 1980s. A judge told Forsyth he would be facing much longer in prison had he committed the offences more recently as sentencing guidelines were now much tougher.

Judge Neil Clark told Forsyth: “When she was in London you immediately caused her to work in the sex trade. She was humiliating herself. She may not have realised at the time but she realises it now. Not only were you corrupting her but you were living off the proceeds of that corruption. She has had to live with this and struggle with it psychologically ever since” Michael Collins, prosecuting, said Forsyth got the girl a job at a club called Nude Encounters, where she had to dance naked behind a screen while men watched.

They returned to West Yorkshire after she had turned 15 and was pregnant with his child. The woman found the courage to tell police what happened to her in 2012. Forsyth, of Knaresborough Road, Harrogate, has a string of other sex offences dating back to the 1970s and 1980s for indecent assault and indecent exposure. Kenton Sergeant, mitigating, said: “The defendant wants to say to the court and to the complainant that he is now not the same person as he was then and he deeply regrets his past.”

Detective Inspector Marc Bowes, of Leeds District Safeguarding Unit, said: “Forsyth cynically exploited the victim over a significant period of time when she was a vulnerable child. His offending has left lasting psychological scars that she is still trying to come to terms with.

“We hope the fact he has now had to answer for his crimes will provide some degree of comfort to her.

“This case again illustrates that the passage of time is no barrier to justice. West Yorkshire Police has specialist safeguarding officers who will listen to victims and support them and do we all we can to see that offenders like Forsyth face the consequences of their actions.”