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Man, 61, jailed for abusing teenager

A Red Lodge man has been jailed for 12 years after sexually assaulting a teenaged boy over a period of three years.

Robin Croft, 61, of Marigold Drive, Red Lodge, appeared in court for sentencing today after a jury found him guilty of 11 out of 13 offences at an earlier hearing.

He was found guilty of five sexual activity with a child offences and six of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Robin Croft.
Robin Croft.

Sentencing Croft, Judge Rupert Overbury said that he had groomed the boy, talking to him about subjects he was interested in, ‘having gained his complete trust’.

He said: “You sexually groomed him. From the age of 13 you were trusted with him. You grossly abused that level of trust, firstly by grooming him.

“In your interest in him, talking to him and encouraging him to talk about subjects he was interested. Having gained his complete trust you sexually groomed him.

“You reassured him that what you were doing was normal.

“In order to demonstrate that, you showed him a pornographic picture. You told him you loved him and that you wanted his babies and that it didn’t matter about being homosexual.

He was a child. It was to such an extent that for years after he believed he was homosexual.

“The events will remain with him forever as a result of your actions he suffered from anxiety and depression.”

At the trial in December, a jury returned a majority guilty verdict on 11 of the 13 offences, with one count of sexual activity with a child with a not guilty verdict on the directions of the judge.

Another offence of sexual activity with a child was acquitted. The offences date back to between 2006 and 2008.

Stephen Dyble, defending Croft, said his client had not offended again.

Judge Rupert Overbury said: “There has been no signs he has attempted or repeated since.”

He concluded: “The total sentence is one of 12 years’ imprisonment. Take him down.”

Croft will also not be permitted to work with young people for the rest of his life.