Man sentenced to 16 years in prison for child sexual offences

A 54-year-old man has been given a 16 year prison sentence for a string of sexual abuse committed against teenage girls from across the country. 

Craig Lewis, 54, of College Road, Cranwell Village, Lincolnshire, appeared before Sheffield Crown Court yesterday morning (Thursday 14 December), to receive his sentence after being found guilty of child grooming, sexual assault and causing a child to watch a sex act.

An investigation was launched into Lewis in December 2016 after an anonymous referral made to the NSPCC was reported to police.

Detective Constable Elizabeth Portman who oversaw the investigation in to Lewis has said: “Lewis, who previously pleaded guilty to possession of indecent images, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and possession, distribution and making of indecent images, abused three teenagers girls aged between 13 and 14-years-old from Rotherham, Grimsby and Oxford.”

Officers charged Lewis with meeting a child following sexual grooming and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, after an investigation revealed he had used online social media apps to form a relationship with and arranged to meet one of the victims on a number of different occasions. During these meetings, Lewis encourage the victim to take and share photos and videos of herself online.

Through this investigation and a review of his mobile phone activity, officers identified two further victims and with assistance from both Lincolnshire and Oxfordshire police Lewis was charged with the remaining offences.

DC Portman continued: “Lewis’ actions were absolutely despicable as he knew the ages of his victims and continued to commit the sexual abuse. I’m glad he has now been punished and I hope the victims are able to take some assurance in knowing he has been brought to justice.

“It has taken incredible courage from all of the victims to report the abuse and I would like to commend them for their bravery. Our commitment remains ensuring children are kept safe and we will always do our utmost to ensure offenders are brought to justice.”

If you have any concerns, or would like to report an incident, please call 101 or the national child sexual exploitation line, Say Something, on 116000.