Published: 00:01, 05 August 2014
A drama teacher who acted out “absurd” lies in court in an attempt to avoid conviction for grooming a young girl for sex is facing sentence.
Peter Spence, 23, denied contacting the 13-year-old victim and meeting up with her on several occasions.
A judge said a suggestion by the prosecution that Spence’s story was absurd was correct.
“I have never heard a more absurd defence as this since I have been doing this job,” said Recorder David Jeremy QC.
“What concerns me is when you can walk into the witness box and take an oath and tell such absurd lies it shows you are in complete denial about issues you have about an inappropriate interest in girls who are too young.”
Spence, of Southfleet Road, Swanscombe, denied meeting a child following sexual grooming and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, but was convicted at Maidstone Crown Court.
Prosecutor Catherine Donnelly said Spence was a tutor at a north Kent charity.
The girl told police Spence contacted her on Facebook and talked to her on Skype and the messages became “flirty”.
He eventually suggested they meet up and then had several days out together.
“Peter Spence told her he loved her and that he would wait for her until she was 16,” said Miss Donnelly.
“She said the most that happened was they had kissed and she wanted it to happen.”
On one occasion they kissed and cuddled. He invited her to his home but she did not go.
Spence’s seven-months pregnant girlfriend, aged 20, sat in the public gallery as the jury returned guilty verdicts.
“The lying is over. You have been rightly convicted on utterly overwhelming evidence" - Recorder David Jeremy
Simon Sandford, defending, said she had planned to return to work as a silver service waitress.
Adjourning sentence until September 5 for reports, Recorder Jeremy told Spence: “Probation will look at your inappropriate interest in young girls, and how you can be helped to deal with it.
“The first thing is to be honest and abandon the absurd denial you have engaged in. My advice to you is to confront the truth.
“The lying is over. You have been rightly convicted on utterly overwhelming evidence.”
Conditional bail was continued. Spence was ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register.
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