Jail for woman who groomed young girl

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court

A woman who groomed a young girl before having sexual contact with her has been jailed for two years.

A judge said Zoe Hickey took advantage of her teenage victim.

Zoe Hickey was sentenced to two years for sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl

Zoe Hickey was sentenced to two years for sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl

Hickey, 26, was on bail when she carried out several of the offences, Preston Crown Court was told.

The court heard the offences had a serious psychological impact on the victim who was under 16.

Hickey, of Eskham Close, Wesham, admitted six charges of child abduction, plus six others of sexual activity with a child.

Before committing the offences, Hickey had been warned about an inappropriate relationship with a girl and was given a caution by police.

Lisa Worsley, prosecuting, said a complaint of inappropriate behaviour between the two had been made last September.

The defendant was served with a child abduction notice and put on bail until November 11 and Hickey was cautioned for sexual activity with a girl.

On October 30 Hickey met the girl after responding to a message from her on a social network, and kissed her twice.

The two met up twice more after the incident.

The girl told someone at her school about the incident and her mother was informed and the police called.

Hickey was arrested and interviewed. She admitted they had met but denied any sexual contact.

She was then on bail when further offences took place. She met the girl and kissed her once more.

The court heard she grabbed the girl by the neck to kiss her in a “passionate act”.

The girl wrote a letter to the judge in which she described feeling she had been a victim of grooming and felt exploited.

At the time she had not seen it as grooming, because she thought the defendant had genuine feelings for her.

“She feels she had fallen under her manipulative spell and that there had been emotional blackmail,” said Miss Worsley.

Daniel Harman, defending, said his client understood the serious position she was in and that only an immediate prison sentence could follow.

In a social media message to the girl’s mother, read out by Mr Harman, the first line read: “I should have respected your wishes and stayed 
away.

“The only excuse I have for being so disrespectful is my feelings.

“I am truly sorry for everything I have put you all through.”

Mr Harman added: “This is a defendant who has lived through coming out as a gay person, lived through the emotional and psychological difficulties that go with that. She is still a young woman herself.

“Clearly a bond was made between these two which turned into an inappropriate bond and one which she regrets,not only for herself , but also for the girl who she cares for.

“She is determined not to repeat this sort of offence. It would appear it was a one off with this young girl”.

In passing sentence, Judge Anthony Russell, told Hickey: “I accept you were infatuated with her. You had been warned off very very clearly.

“These offences had had a very serious psychological impact on your victim and also significant impacts on her family as well.

“She didn’t appreciate she was being groomed and she feels she was exploited by you and that her life was effectively set on a wrong course.

“I regard her as a vulnerable victim of whom you took advantage.”

Hickey was ordered to remain on the Sex Offender’s Register for the next 
10 years.