A man who groomed and sexually touched a 15-year-old girl in Nottinghamshire has been locked up for five years.
Matthew Liversidge, of Victoria Place in Kexby, Gainsborough was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court today (Monday 20 November 2017) following a four-day trial.
The 33-year-old had pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual activity with a child under 16, one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, two counts of possessing indecent images of a child and one count of causing the sexual exploitation of a child but was convicted on all counts following trial.
Liversidge was also accused of sexual activity and causing or inciting sexual activity in relation to another child under 16 but the jury acquitted him of this during a previous trial in July.
The court heard how Liversidge groomed the girl over a period of around six months in 2016, telling her not to say anything to anyone. He persuaded her to create a social media account and communicate with him on there, getting her to send indecent and naked images of herself and engage in explicit conversations. He also sexually touched her and incited her to touch him.
The case was reported to police in May 2016. Liversidge denied the offences but was later charged when digital evidence showed that he did have a social media account like the one that had been described along with the presence of deleted conversations.
As well as the prison sentence, he was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which prevents him from working with girls under 16.
Detective Constable Lisa Avvio, who led the investigation, said: “I’m pleased with this sentencing. Liversidge completely broke his position of trust by grooming this young girl, knowing full well how old she was. I have no doubt that he would’ve gone on to offend other young girls if it weren’t for the bravery of the victim coming forward. This has been a lengthy procedure for all involved and I hope the victim can get some closure from the result today. Victims of this type of offence should never suffer in silence – please report it to Nottinghamshire Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or at least take the first step by talking to someone close to you. Your report will be treated with compassion and with confidence and, as this case shows, may lead to your attacker facing the justice they deserve.”