A MAN was behind bars today after an investigation into child sexual abuse in Rotherham.
Mark Hastie, 20, of Fleming Way, Flanderwell, Rotherham, appeared before Sheffield Crown Court yesterday to be sentenced after pleading guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a child, one count of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one count of possessing indecent images of children.
He was jailed for four years and given a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order. Hastie has also been placed on the sex offenders register for life.
The investigation into Hastie began in 2015, when the father of a 13-year-old girl called police to report concerns over an older man trying to contact his daughter. When specialist officers spoke with the teenager, she said she had been sexually abused.
Hastie was arrested and his electronic devices seized, which revealed he had been sending inappropriate messages to his victim, encouraging her to engage in sexual activity with him, and had indecent images of children.
Detective Inspector John Fitzgibbons, who heads Rotherham’s Public Protection Unit, said: “Hastie preyed on a young, vulnerable girl for his own sexual gratification and his victim has been very brave in coming forward and telling us what happened.
“Our dedicated multi-agency child sexual exploitation team called Evolve in Rotherham has been instrumental in supporting the victim, gathering evidence and bringing the case before the courts. Our commitment to tackling child sexual exploitation in all its forms continues in earnest and we will take whatever action we can to safeguard children from harm.”
Anyone with concerns about exploitation should contact the police on 101 or a helpline Say Something on 116 000.