Page last updated at 15:13 GMT, Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Sex attacker groomed girl online

Richard Paul Graves
Graves must prove he is not a risk to the public before he can be released

A man who sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl after grooming her on the internet has been jailed indefinitely.

Richard Paul Graves assaulted the teenager, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, while he was on licence for the rape of an eight-year-old girl.

The 39-year-old, of Tholthorpe, near Easingwold, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty at Teesside Crown Court to grooming, abduction and sexual assault

A judge told him he would serve at least six-and-a-half years in prison.

Under the terms of the indeterminate sentence, Graves must satisfy the authorities that he does not pose any threat to the community before he is released.

In my judgment you are a very dangerous man and you are cunning and devious.
Judge Brian Forster QC

The court heard Graves locked the teenager in a garage at an isolated former airfield in Tholthorpe and gave her alcohol, before carrying out repeated sex attacks over three days in May 2008.

He had been released from prison the previous January after serving nine years of a 14-year sentence for rape.

The court heard Graves befriended the 14-year-old girl in an internet chat room in April 2008.

'Cunning and devious'

She received more than 1,000 text messages and phone calls from him over the coming weeks.

After the girl ran away from her home on 12 May she contacted Graves and they met up.

Police found the teenager on 15 May when officers stopped Graves' van near the airfield and discovered her inside.

Judge Brian Forster QC told Graves: "In my judgment you are a very dangerous man and you are cunning and devious. You are a man who is driven by sexual desire and you pose a serious risk to young woman."

He added: "It is absolutely clear to me that this case must have had a devastating effect upon the girl and her whole family."

As well as the conviction for rape, Graves also served a 12-month jail sentence for the sexual assault of another child, committed in 1995.

Det Sg Paul Woodward of North Yorkshire Police welcomed the sentence.

"Richard Graves is a dangerous man with a history of offending against young women," he said.

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