A PERVERT who made inappropriate remarks to two young girls and performed a sex act in front of them has been jailed for 19 months.
Judge William George told Peter Churnside: “This kind of conduct can do untold psychological damage which is why parliament treats this as a serious offence. Girls have to be protected from themselves.”
He added that it was not a classic case of child grooming and breach of trust but there were elements of that and there was also the disparity in the ages of Churnside and the victims. He ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years and made a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for the same length of time.
Churnside, 35, of Valiant Road, Marsh Green, Wigan, pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to engaging in sexual activity with a child under 16.
Ms Karen Brooks, prosecuting, told the court that Churnside knew a relative of one of the girls, aged 14, and so got to know her and her friend, aged 15.
He began communicating with the younger girl on Facebook and made inappropriate comments in messages.
On January 20 he went to her home and bought them cigarettes but left when a relative arrived.
They left the house shortly afterwards and when they were near garages in Portland Road, Atherton, he pulled his trousers down and performed a sexual act, she said.
He also later sent a text message saying he would see them when they came out of school the next day.
The worried youngsters confided in a member of staff and the police were alerted and arrested him. When interviewed he admitted the offence.
Mr Paul Treble, defending, said that while Churnside has previous convictions but none for sexual offences.
He pointed out that the victims were “robust” and they would ask Churnside to get them alcohol, which he refused, and cigarettes.
His client has drink and drug problems, added Mr Treble.