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Barton under Needwood man pleads guilty to child sexual abuse charges

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 30, 2014

By Peter Richardson

AN ambulance driver has been locked up after admitting sexually abusing a young girl and bombarding another 12-year-old from Burton with explicit text messages.

Jaimie Bent sent around 4,600 texts to the 12-year-old and met up with her several times at Shobnall Park.

After he was arrested, his other victim came forward and told police how Bent had 'groomed' her and touched her inappropriately.

Judge Michael Challinor remanded Bent in custody for reports directed at whether he is a danger to children.

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The judge told him: "A sentence of imprisonment is absolutely inevitable."

Bent, 49, of Barton Marina, Barton under Needwood, initially denied all offences but, on the second day of his trial, changed his pleas on two charges before the girls were called to give evidence. He admitted one specimen charge of sexual activity with a 13-year-old and one charge of inciting a 12-year-old to sexual activity.

In a basis of plea, Bent said he had kissed and hugged the first girl on a few occasions and touched her inappropriately.

Regarding the girl from Burton, Bent said he accepted sending her the text messages but said there had been no sexual activity between them.

Nick Tatlow, prosecuting at Stafford Crown Court, told the jury the text messages were only discovered when the girl broke her mobile phone and her elder sister took it to be repaired.

After Bent was arrested and bailed by the police, another girl came forward in January this year.

She said he had been 'grooming' her since the age of 12 and went on to touch her inappropriately.

On Bent's computer were 96 emails between him and the girl. Mr Tatlow said the messages were not overtly sexual in nature, but intimate in content.

He said: "They were going to set up home together, have children and marry."

Bent also wrote that he was going to leave his partner for the girl.

Bent will be sentenced at a later date and his barrister Darron Whitehead applied for his client to be remanded on bail until then.

But Judge Challinor, refusing bail, said: "The matter that concerns me is that in the past he has attempted to take his own life and he is particularly vulnerable at the moment, and a sentence of imprisonment is absolutely inevitable."

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