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Vile 52-year-old jailed after admitting he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old boy he met on Grindr

Patrick Kelleher September 7, 2020
Mark Wagstaff Swindon Crown Court sexual abuse Grindr

Mark Wagstaff (Wiltshire Police)

A 52-year-old man has been sentenced to four years and six months in prison after he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old boy he met on Grindr.

Mark Wagstaff was handed his sentence at Swindon Crown Court on Thursday (3 September) after he admitted to inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, This Is Wiltshire reports.

The man met his victim on the Grindr in 2017. The boy initially told the man that he was aged 18.

They later exchanged phone numbers and began swapping sexually explicit messages on WhatsApp.

In November 2017, the man arranged to meet his victim in an Asda car park. He then drove to a secluded part of the car park where he sexually assaulted the boy.

The court heard that, when Wagstaff saw the boy for the first time, he questioned if he was really 18. The boy claimed that he had a genetic condition that made him look younger than he actually was.

Two weeks later, he arranged to meet the boy again. By this time he was aware that the boy was under 18, but brought him back to his apartment where he sexually assaulted him for a second time.

Wagstaff continued messaging his victim into the new year, but the contact came to an abrupt halt when the boy’s mother saw the messages and contacted police.

Prosecutor Chris Smyth told the court that Wagstaff was aware the child was below the age of consent.

“The victim told the defendant explicitly he was 13-years-old and at school,” he said. “The defendant responded that this was alright but urged him not to tell anyone.”

In his sentencing, judge Peter Crabtree said: “As a 13-year-old boy and with severe ADHD, it cannot be said that the victim was to blame in any way for what occurred. Indeed, the legislation is there to protect people like him.”

The boy, in a victim impact statement, said: “This has ruined my life more than I could ever have imagined.”

Meanwhile, his mother said in a statement that the abuse had caused strain within their family, and that she and the boy’s father split up at the end of 2019.

The boy’s father shouted “scumbag” in the courtroom on Thursday (3 September) as Wagstaff was jailed.

In addition to his prison sentence, Wagstaff will be placed on the sex offender register for life and will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order that will limit contact with underage boys.

More: Mark Wagstaff, Swindon Crown Court

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