Greenhithe sex offender admits grooming 14-year-old girl

PUBLISHED: 09:51 04 May 2016 | UPDATED: 09:51 04 May 2016

Gary Cawthorne

Gary Cawthorne


He will be sentenced at the end of the month

A registered sex offender from Greenhithe has admitted grooming and sexually assaulting a teenage girl after promising her a job.

Gary Cawthorne, 53, was already on the sex offender’s register when he contacted his victim from London promising a job.

Using the alias Lee Mason, Cawthorne met with the 14-year-old on a number of occasions, where he would sexually assault her.

The abuse was brought to light when his victim’s friend discovered messages on her phone from him under the name of Lee.

Using another name, the friend contacted Cawthorne asking for a job.

He then asked for pictures of her face, which she sent.

She then ignored Cawthorne’s requests for pictures of her body.

The girl then flagged up her contact with him to her parents, who contacted her school.

Once contacted, police discovered Cawthorne was behind the Lee Mason alias through the phone number he used to contact both girls.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault on a child under 16 years of age, one count of grooming and one count of a breach of a Sexual Prevention Order on Tuesday at Southwark Crown Court.

Det Con Tony Foran from the Met’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command said: “Cawthorne is a known sex offender and is a danger to children and has totally disregarded the provisions of his SOPO.

“He pursued the 14-year-old girl by phone and in person. Then he sexually assaulted her.

“The victim’s friend became suspicious of his contact and thanks to her brave actions she was able to flag up his activities to her parents who then alerted the authorities.”

Cawthorne will be sentenced at the same court on Tuesday, 31 May.

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