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16 March 2015, 14:16
A Coventry builder has been jailed for repeatedly luring a 14-year-old girl into his works van as she walked to school and inciting her to take part in sex acts.
Coventry man Alan Hall, from Southam Close in Canley, groomed the schoolgirl with flirtatious glances and compliments as he cycled past her in the street.
But in December 2013 he pulled up alongside the youngster, who was always dressed in school uniform, and offered her a lift.
Hall parked up near garages before kissing the girl and, during subsequent rendezvous in his van, went on to incite her into committing sex acts.
A concerned teacher contacted the girl’s parents on 6 December and reported seeing her getting into a vehicle driven by an older man.
Detectives traced it to a Coventry building firm and later that evening the 27-year-old was arrested from his home address.
He admitted giving the 14-year-old lifts but denied any sexual motive – but when officers examined a tracker device fitted to his van it showed Hall was lying about the route he claimed to have driven.
A jury found him guilty last month on five counts of sexual activity with a child and on Friday 13 March 13 he was jailed for four-and-a-half years.
Hall was made to sign the sex offender’s register for at least 10 years and handed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order banning him from living in the same address or having unsupervised contact with girls aged under-16.
Investigating officer Jon Barker from Coventry Police’s Public Protection Unit, said: “Hall began by casting glances at the girl followed by comments like ‘morning gorgeous’ and then stopping to chat – he was grooming her and she admitted being flattered by the attention.
“It was predatory behaviour and, although there was no duress or aggravating factors, he knew the girl’s age and was fully aware he was committing an offence.
“We’d always urge parents to reinforce personal safety messages to their children and tell them never to get into stranger’s vehicles.”