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Sandeep Chauhan jailed for four years
A FOREIGN student has been jailed for four years after he had a sexual relationship with a Basingstoke schoolgirl whom he groomed on the internet.
Sandeep Chauhan, who came to the UK from India in 2009, met the 14-year-old on four occasions in the summer of last year, Winchester Crown Court heard.
Michael Butt, prosecuting, said the relationship started at the start of summer last year when they exchanged messages on the music file-sharing website BearShare.com.
Mr Butt added that Chauhan, who is 25, was aware from an early stage that the teenager, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was only 14, but carried on exchanging messages by text, Facebook and chatrooms.
Mr Butt said: “The defendant gained the confidence of the girl with displays of love and affection, and came to suggest that they meet.
“She had been a little reluctant initially when the defendant suggested they meet in a Basingstoke hotel.
"She asked if she could bring her mother, and he said yes. Her confidence increased and she decided she would go and meet him by herself.”
The court heard the pair met at the Red Lion Hotel, in Winchester Street, where a sexual act took place.
They then met a further three times in July and August, Mr Butt said, at the Red Lion, the teenager's father's flat in Basingstoke, and when the girl visited Chauhan for three days at his then address in Leyton, east London. On every occasion, sexual activity took place.
But Mr Butt said the girl subsequently wanted to end the relationship, and later confided in friends and family about the relationship when Chauhan threatened to kill himself if they split up.
When officers arrested him in November last year, they found a forged work visa that Chauhan had used with his valid student visa to get a job at a bakery.
Matthew Groves, defending, said the sex was consensual and that the victim and the defendant had a similar level of maturity.
But Judge Peter Henry told Chauhan, of no fixed abode: “I cannot accept that. Just because a girl looks more than 14 does not mean she is emotionally older than that.
“You were undoubtedly the more mature person in this relationship and undoubtedly you knew that what you were doing was wrong.”
The judge jailed Chauhan, who admitted five counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of possessing a forged document, for a total of four years, and ordered him to sign the sexual offenders register for life.
After the case, Detective Constable Drew Wright, investigating officer, said: "We welcome this sentence for Mr Chauhan. He is a dangerous individual who preyed on a vulnerable young girl.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to remind parents to talk to their children about the dangers of chatting to people they don't know online.
“Have a conversation with your children and encourage them to tell you if they are suspicious of anyone who has contacted them online."
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