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Home / Latest News / Father-of-two jailed for five years for grooming schoolgirl for sex

Father-of-two jailed for five years for grooming schoolgirl for sex

A father-of-two has been jailed for five years after coming to Cardiff for sex with a schoolgirl he groomed on her Blackberry phone.

The victim was just 14 when Robert Lankshear, 40, first contacted the teenager at her home in Bridgend after she posted her details on the Blackberry messaging service.

Last year, not long after her 15th birthday, he met her at a Newport Road hotel and had sexual intercourse with her, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

She confided in friends at school. Her parents and the police became involved after contact between them dried up and she realised she had been used by him.

When Thames Valley Police went to the computer worker’s home in Ascot, Berkshire, they discovered hundreds of still images and movies of children being abused.

There were also images of extreme pornography involving adults and animals, said prosecutor Tony Trigg.

The police had to wait for his wife to come home before they could take Lankshear in for questioning because he was at home alone with his own two small children.

At first Lankshear denied having any sexual interest in young girls and said the porn must have been downloaded accidently.

But in court he admitted 25 charges relating not only to the images but to the grooming of the Welsh schoolgirl and being involved in sexual activity with her.

He accepted he knew she was 14 when they began “chatting” on the social networking site and that he told her he was 29, not 39, as he was at the time.

The girl told police he had “sweet talked” her and promised he was in a position to spend large amounts of money on clothes for her.

He told police later:”You get them talking about shopping to start a conversation”.

Mr Trigg told the court: “She told her mother she was meeting a friend and got on a train from Bridgend to Cardiff.

“He had come from London and had already booked into the Holland House Hotel so that avoided her being seen at reception when they went there after chatting in a coffee shop in town.

“He had told her to bring swimwear and put his hand under her bikini bottoms when they were in the jacuzzi.

“Back in his room they kissed and had sexual intercourse twice, with the girl saying later that she had been nervous because it was her first time – a fact she had told him over the Internet.”

At his home, police found illegal porn in a bedroom and in his garage, and his computer euqipment proved he had known the girl was 14 when he first spoke to her.

Mr Trigg said: “There was sexual talk on the Blackberry with him encouraging her to send pictures of her performing a sex act on herself. ‘Age is just a number’, he told her and he told police ‘We are animals of curiosity – we do explore’.” He said he wasn’t grooming her, he had an “affinity with her”.

Lankshear was said to now believe he had a sex addiction and is seeing a therapist.

Experts’ reports put before the court classified him as being of “low risk” to others in the future and a probation report described him as “medium risk”, but jailing him Judge Rhys Rowlands said he disagreed.

“You were living a lie.” he told him.

“Outwardly you appeared to be a successful man, married with two children but you were living an immoral and depraved lifestyle and you took advantage of a child.

“No one can know the effect it might have on her in the future but there is no doubt that in the years to come the fact that she lost her virginity in such a grubby way to a man old enough to be her father is something she will have to come to terms with.”

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