Paedophile jailed for grooming vulnerable Bedford teenage girl via SnapChat

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A registered sex offender has been jailed for more than eight years after grooming a vulnerable teenage girl into having a sexual relationship with him.

Ben Wooding, 27, met the girl in August 2021 when he was living in the Bedford area. He initially struck up conversations and became friendly with her, before he engaged in sexual activity, and regularly gave her alcohol.

He used SnapChat to message the victim, where he coerced the victim into sending indecent images of herself to him.

Ben WoodingBen Wooding
Ben Wooding

The victim’s mother had become suspicious that something was going on between Wooding and her daughter and when she checked her PlayStation – she discovered the messages and images they had been sending each other and reported it to the police.

Wooding was initially arrested in May 2022 for other offences relating to the possession of indecent images of children. He served a short custodial sentence and was released on licence the following year. He was also the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).

During this time, the victim had come forward and told police she had been groomed by Wooding and that he had engaged in sexual activity with her.

Wooding was arrested and interviewed in relation to this, and bailed whilst the investigation was ongoing, but shortly after he breached his conditions by failing to notify police of a change of address and was re-arrested.

On Friday (April 19) Wooding, of Exeter Road, Scunthorpe, received a custodial sentence of eight years and three months, after pleading guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a child, and a further count of breaching both his Sex Offender Notification Requirements and Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).

He will also serve an additional five years on licence, will be the subject of a lifetime SHPO, on the Sex Offenders Register and was also handed a life-long restraining order.

Detective constable Oliver Fitton from Bedfordshire Police’s internet child abuse investigation team, said: “Wooding is a vile individual who took advantage of this vulnerable teenage girl in the worst possible way, so I am pleased he has received a custodial sentence.

“The victim was very brave in coming forward to tell us what had happened, and I hope she is now able to move on from this chapter in her life.”


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