Lancaster man jailed over sexual acts with underage girls

A man who engaged in sexual activity with two children has been jailed for 27 months.

By Stef Hall
Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 3:46 pm

Tommy Gorst, 24, of Hinde Street, Lancaster, admitted two counts of engaging in sexual activity with a girl, relating to two schoolgirls, and the court heard he did not use protection.

The court was told both girls, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had "lost their virginity to him".

Sessions House Court heard the first victim had corresponded with him via Facebook.

Sessions House

Years later she made a formal complaint after being referred to a therapy service.

His second victim was pressured into sexual activity with him after he persuaded her to come back to his bedroom to dye her hair, even though she had "made it plain" she was still at school.

Prosecuting, Jane Dagnall said: "After a while he asked her bluntly: 'Do you want to lose your virginity?'

"She explains she felt very uncomfortable."

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Gorst told her she "didn't have to tell anyone" and "it isn't going to hurt" and the court heard she agreed to because she was fearful of what might happen if she did not.

She eventually confided in a counsellor.

In a police interview Gorst claimed it was "love" between him and the first girl, and that he had 'helped her' lose her virginity.

In a victim impact statement, she said she found it hard to function and that things others take for granted were "overwhelming for her".

Ms Dagnall added: " She grew to struggle with knowing what a safe relationship was and came to believe people would hurt her.

"She feels paranoid about being watched or followed by people who know him and is overcome with anxiety."

The second girl said it had "altered myself and my life permanently", adding: "I will never be able to joke about my first sexual experience with friends.

"It might seem like a single event on one day but I would like to tell everyone listening that my suffering did not end when the intercourse did."

She said she had lost her self respect and blamed herself that she "didn't say no enough and shouldn't have given in", adding: "It didn't occur to me I shouldn't have been put in that position."

The court heard after the incident the "self loathing" began, her self harming became worse and she began taking drugs as a coping mechanism.

Judge Graham Knowles QC imposed a restraining order and a 10 year sexual harm order banning him living in or entering the same house as any girl under 16 unless approved by the authorities.

He said: " It is necessary to make a sexual harm prevention order to protect girls generally from sexual harm by the defendant.

Addressing him about his first victim he said: "Messages between you and her reveal amongst other things her fear that she might have become pregnant, they reveal your unsupportive response.

Referring to the second he added: "You knew her age.

"You met, you shopped she bought hair dye and you invited her back to your house to use that hair dye

"You said: 'If my mum asks you're 16.'

"In your bedroom as she puts it, completely out of the blue, you said: "Do you want to lose your virginity?'

"She did not. She was shocked, she said no and a silence fell over the room.

"You were trying to persuade her into this. She was fearful of what might happen if she tried to leave.

"She decided it was the better option."

"She writes, and this is poignant, 'I didn't know what to do. I stared at the ceiling until he stopped.'"

He added: "Age does matter, everyone know having sex with a girl udner 16 is illegal.

You did exactly what you wanted and you did it for your sexual pleasure, You were callous and you are callous now.

"You were self centred and you are self centred now.

"You knew right from wrong and you chose wrong."

He also questioned whether Gorst had learned lessons from his offences after made a remarks to probation that: "Relationships and marriage are a trap where women will take everything from you" and told a psychiatrist he had slept with 35 women, was "not a fussy person" and had " been with girls of all shapes, sizes and ages".

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