Man sentenced to more than nine years for sexual offences against children
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A man has been sentenced to more than nine years for multiple counts of sexual offences against underage girls, including rape and sexual assault.
Harry Dobson, of Village Road, Waverton, Chester, was given a sentence of nine years and six months at Chester Crown Court on Friday 8 December.
The 19-year-old was previously found guilty of nine counts of sexual offences against children, including rape, sexual activity with a child, sexual assault, and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
Dobson was 18 when he committed the offences, which span from November 2022 – April 2023.
The first victim was 15 years old when she was sexually assaulted by Dobson at the Mercure Hotel, Chester, on 20 November 2022. Dobson had pressured her into a sexual act. This was reported to police on 29 November after the victim disclosed what had happened to her teacher.
The second victim was a 14-year-old girl who was pressured into sexual activity with Dobson, despite him knowing her age, after they started speaking to each other on SnapChat.
This was documented on text messages where Dobson used emotional blackmail to manipulate her into complying with his demands. On two occasions Dobson raped the victim. This was reported to police in May 2023 after occurring earlier in the year.
Dobson was charged and remanded in May 2023.
He was found guilty following a two-week trial which took place in October 2023.
On top of his sentence, Dobson must sign onto the Sex Offender Register for life and is subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order. Dobson was also handed a restraining order in relation to both victims in the case.
In their victim impact statements one of the victims in this case said: “I often have similar flashbacks in my dreams which disturb my sleep. I dream and remember snippets of what happened and find myself going back to the moment it happened.
“After what happened I found it difficult to start new relationships, and struggled to feel able to trust someone again."
The second victim said: “I watched people like you on the TV and on movies and never saw what people were so afraid of and so drawn in by. I understand now. You will not take anything else from me.”
Following the sentencing DC Beth Higginson said:
“I welcome the sentence handed to Dobson, who emotionally blackmailed and manipulated young girls into complying with his requests to meet own sexual needs.
“He showed a complete disregard for those he abused and no remorse throughout the trial for his actions.
“I would like to mention the courage of the young girls who have been involved in this case.
“This has been an emotionally charged case which has had a significant impact on the victims and their families.
“At times the evidence has been difficult to listen to, however I have no doubt that the strength and bravery shown by all those involved will lead to the protection of many more young girls from the actions of Dobson.
“I would like to thank the prosecution team including Witness Care, CPS and KC Mark Connor, for supporting all those involved and their families throughout the duration of this case.
“This was a sensitive case and was presented with compassion by all those involved.
“I would also like to thank Judge Thompson for his ruling and highlighting the bravery of the young girls involved.