Runcorn man jailed for grooming a vulnerable teenage girl Date published: 2nd May 2018 11.59am

A 26-year-old man from Runcorn has been jailed after pleading guilty to grooming a vulnerable teenage girl.

Robert Bristow, of Navigation Road, Runcorn, pleaded guilty to meeting a girl under the age of 16 following grooming.

On appearing at Chester Crown Court on 27 April he was given a 12 month custodial sentence,  handed a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.

The case against Bristow came to light in March 2018 when the mother of a teenage girl uncovered a string of social media messages which had been sent to her daughter.

Many of the messages were sexual in nature and indicated that Bristow had planned a meeting with the victim for the purpose of sexual activity.

Following the discovery Bristow was swiftly arrested and, despite initially denying any involvement, he was subsequently charged with meeting a girl under the age of 16 following grooming.

Detective Inspector Claire Coleman said: “Thankfully, in this instance Bristow was unsuccessful in his attempts to meet with the victim, however this may not have been the case if the messages had not been discovered by her mum.

“This case is a timely reminder that while the internet is an amazing tool, it has a darker side which we all need to be mindful of. It also shows just how imperative it is that parents are aware of the sites their children are accessing and who they are communicating with. People like Bristow have no qualms with using the internet to their own perverse means.

“There are a number of websites that provide information and tools to protect children online and I would strongly advise all parents to utilise these when educating their children about how to stay safe."

Websites to help people keep safe online:

www.cheshire.police.uk - Advice on internet safety and security, including social networking and chatrooms.

www.getsafeonline.org - Advice about firewalls, spyware and antivirus protection and how to protect children online.

www.childnet.com - Adult awareness e-safety

www.thinkuknow.co.uk - You can download resources from this site on e-safety

www.ceop.gov.uk - All you need to know about online safety for your child

http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/0/ -All you need to know about online safety for your child