On­line groomer jailed

Rotorua Review - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - BENN BATH­GATE

He was a 25-year-old vir­gin, but that didn’t stop Har­man­jit Singh promis­ing the 14-year-old girl he’d been groom­ing via so­cial me­dia ‘‘the best night of her life’’.

That boast, and the two en­coun­ters that fol­lowed, re­sulted on Fri­day at Ro­torua Dis­trict Court in a sen­tence of two years and two months’ im­pris­on­ment for Singh, on two charges of sex­ual con­nec­tion with a young per­son.

Singh met his vic­tim at the dairy farm near Taupo where he was em­ployed along with the vic­tim’s mother - nei­ther of whom can be named.

Singh’s lawyer Ian Far­quhar con- ceded that Singh used so­cial me­dia ac­counts and text mes­sages to groom the girl.

How­ever, de­spite one of the vic­tim’s so­cial me­dia pro­files not­ing her age was 14, Far­quhar said his client was un­aware of her age.

The court was told that Singh used so­cial me­dia to re­quest sex­ual pho­to­graphs from the girl and to en­gage in sex­u­alised con­ver­sa­tions.

He then used those same so­cial me­dia chan­nels to ar­range for the vic­tim to sneak out of her home in the early hours of April 28 this year to call at his home, a visit that was re­peated the fol­low­ing night.

McKen­zie said Singh would also be placed on the sex-of­fender reg­is­ter.

Har­man­jit Singh promised his 14-yearold vic­tim ‘a night she’d never for­get’.

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