Butlins worker jailed after ‘grooming’ girl

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A BUTLINS worker who “groomed” a Lincolnshire schoolgirl has been jailed for two years and nine months at Lincoln Crown Court.

Christopher Wood, 43, admitted kissing and touching the under-age girl after driving her to isolated locations in Woodhall Spa and Anton’s Gowt.

Wood, of Hampton Road, Twickenham, Middlesex, pleaded guilty to seven sexual charges when he appeared at Lincoln Crown Court.

The offences occured between 28 November and 14 December, last year.

The court heard Wood was also made the subject of a sexual offences protection order and will have to register as a sex offender for life.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, told the court: “He was the driving force of this inappropriate relationship. It was a breach of trust, he corrupted her to a point where she became complicit to his wishes.”

Wood was arrested when the girl’s mother raised the alarm after she discovered disturbing text messages between the pair.

During his police interview Wood made no comment but he later admitted driving the girl to Woodhall Spa and Anton’s Gowt on 14 December.

Mr Howes added: “On both of those occasions he collected her from school in his car. She was in her school uniform.”

Wood, who worked at the Butlins site in Ingoldmells, also sent a string of inappropriate text messages to the girl including one which read: “I so want to sleep with you.”

When she was interviewed by specially trained police officers about the trips in Wood’s car the girl said she did not really want to be there.

In mitigation the court heard Wood’s career in the cruise ship and holiday camp industry had been destroyed by his behaviour.

Passing sentence Judge Peter Clark told Wood he had led a blameless life until this episode but he added: “These are serious offences. She was a vunerable child as you well knew.”

A spokesperson for Butlins Skegness said:: “We can confirm Mr Wood was employed as a stage manager at Butlins Skegness at the time of the offence for which he has now been convicted.

“Although the charges related to an incident outside his employment, Mr Wood was immediately suspended when police informed our management team of the allegations against him. Subsequently his temporary contract was not renewed.

“Mr Wood was made to undergo all requisite CRB checks prior to employment, which were clear.”