A notorious sexual predator targeted a vulnerable 14-year-old Derby girl for sexual activity after going on the run just days after being released from prison. Derby Crown Court heard how Christopher Leask encouraged the teenager to escape from home after sexually abusing her behind a charity shop in the city.
The 38-year-old paedophile’s sentencing hearing was told how he stored the victim as “Babygirl” in his mobile phone, took her to a McDonald’s and was finally found with her outside Asda in Sinfin.
Now the former Alvaston pervert has been put behind bars for years. Handing him an 11-and-a-half-year sentence, Recorder Michelle Heeley KC said: “She was vulnerable and that you called her ‘Babygirl’ demonstrates your attitude. You are a sexual predator and you present a risk of serious harm to more people. There is clear evidence you targeted and groomed this young girl.”
Jonathan Dunne, prosecuting, said Leask was released from a 16-week jail sentence for breaching the terms of being on the sex offender register in July 2022 and should have gone straight to a bail hostel but did not and did not tell his supervisors. He said by the end of that month he was in the Normanton area of Derby and had met the victim.
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The prosecutor said: “She is 14 years old but is vulnerable and presents as younger than that. Her parents became concerned that she was meeting a new friend. Her father saw her with the defendant in the street and told her mother.
“On July 30, her mother saw her in the street with the defendant and told him that (her daughter) was 14 and that he shouldn’t be with her and called him a paedophile. By this time Chloe had bruising on her neck consistent with a love bite and her parents were concerned about how she had come by it.
“She told them that he had given her it and that she had given him one back. They forbade her from seeing him. It was clear however that the defendant maintained contact – particularly by social media. The police recovered conversations between them and (the girl) was stored in his phone as ‘Babygirl’.”
Mr Dunne said in the early hours of August she escaped from her house via a window. The defendant was there and it was something that they had planned. He said her parents realised that she had gone at around 4am and contacted the police who conducted a search to try to find her.
The prosecutor said: “They found CCTV from a local McDonald’s that showed the two of them together and that they were very close and kissing. As a result of a sighting just before 4pm, they located the defendant and the teenager near Asda at Sinfin.
“The defendant was originally seen on his own and made an attempt to escape from the police before being captured after resisting and (the girl) was found at the rear of the store. She was wearing the defendant’s coat.”
Mr Dunne said Leask was taken to St Mary’s Wharf police station and placed in a cell where he tried to get rid of his underwear by flushing it down the toilet. He said although it was recovered, it was not possible to get any DNA results from it but it was possible to get DNA results from the girl’s underwear which made it clear sexual activity had taken place between them.
The prosecutor said the girl was interviewed and told officers sexual activity had taken place between them behind a charity shop. Leask, now of Raleigh Street, Radford, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child and failing to comply with notification requirements.
He has a number of previous convictions going back to 1997 including similar offences which saw him handed a six-year sentence with an extended five-year licence in 2011.
Roger Wilson, mitigating, said his client accepts that he is seen as dangerous in the eyes of the law. He said: “The most powerful mitigation is his early guilty pleas. He had a difficult upbringing, he was (sexually) abused himself.”
Leask’s sentence is made up of a seven-and-a-half-year custodial sentence plus a four-year extended licence. It means he will not be eligible to apply for parole until two thirds of the way through the custodial element – five years.