Pensioner tried to lure girl, 7, in to toilet at pub

John Hale.

John Hale.

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A perverted pensioner who tried to lure a seven-year-old girl into a pub toilet as she sat with her family has been jailed.

John Hale, 69, was sentenced to three years, two months after pleading guilty to inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Leeds Crown Court heard Hale went into the Blue Bell pub, Hemsworth, and sat opposite the youngster as she sat with her mother and grandmother in August last year.

Heather Gilmore, prosecuting, said Hale spoke to the youngster and then made gestures for her to pull her shorts up so he could see her underwear.

Hale also gestured for the girl to go with him to his house and then come to the toilet.

The girl’s mother then saw her daughter shaking her head.

Hale was went to the toilet and the girl told her mother about Hale’s behaviour.

CCTV footage showed Hale walking upstairs to the toilet before turning around and looking down towards the area where the youngster had been sitting.

Miss Gilmore said the girl had been made aware of the danger of going with strangers and told her mother about what had happened.

Police were contacted but Hale had left when officers arrived at the pub.

Hale, of The Green, Shafton, Barnsley, returned the next day and was arrested after staff alerted police when he was seen sitting next to another young girl.

He pleaded guilty to inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

The court Hale had been acquitted of similar allegations on two previous occasion.

He admitted to a probation officer that he had an attraction to pre-pubescent girls.

Katy Rafter, mitigating, said Hale had no previous convictions. He said his wife and family were standing by him despite the offences.

Miss Rafter said: “Mr Hale is already publicly shamed for what he has done and he will have to live with these convictions and the shame that brings.”

Jailing Hale, judge Christopher Batty, said: “You went out of your way to find a family pub in an area where you were not known during the course of the school holidays last summer.

“(the victim) had fortunately been properly educated by her family as to the existence of people like you and, as parents, everybody has concerns that there are strangers in this world who are prepared to take children and have sexual relations with them - and you are one such person. That is what you were about on that day.

“You have a problem and a problem that needs dealing with. But I have a duty to the public to protect them through the sentence that I impose.”