Jail for man who groomed an Ipswich schoolgirl for sex

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A sex offender who “groomed” a vulnerable schoolgirl for sex while he was living at an Ipswich probation hostel has been jailed for six years.

Anthony Bridgestock, 29, had been living at the hostel in Fuchsia Lane for a few weeks last September when he approached the 15-year-old girl in Ipswich and asked her how old she was, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

He text the girl, met up with her and walked her to school as part of a grooming process, said Andrew Thompson, prosecuting.

On September 23, Bridgestock simulated sexual intercourse with the girl while she was lying in a park and touched her intimately under her clothing. He later had sex with the girl on three occasions.

Bridgestock admitted two offences of sexual activity with a child, two offences of breaching a sexual offences prevention order and two offences of penetrative sexual activity with the girl.

Jailing him for six years, ordering him to sign the sex offenders’ register and making him the subject of a sexual harm prevention order until further notice, Judge David Goodin said Bridgestock met the girl and “groomed” her for sex within a few weeks of avoiding custody for sexually assaulting a girl aged 12.

Mr Thompson said that on September 2, Bridgestock was given a community order for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl and came to live at a probation hostel.

Most Read

“Within a very short period of time he was having contact with the victim who was a vulnerable 15-year-old girl,” Mr Thomson said.

Andrew Shaw, for Bridgestock, accepted his client had herpes when he committed the sexual offences.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter