A man who attempted to rape a 14-year-old girl has been jailed.
Gerard Morgan, 46, of Sandhurst Road, SE6 was found guilty on 30th June 2014 at Woolwich Crown Court of attempted rape, sexual assault and grooming a child.
For attempted rape, he was jailed for five years; for grooming a child he was jailed for four years and for sexual assault he was jailed for six months. All sentences are to run concurrently.
Morgan ran a shop that sold baseball caps in Sandhurst Road. He befriended the girl in the autumn of 2012 after she came into the shop to look at some of the caps. Following further encounters at the shop, Morgan then began to offer her lifts in his car.
It was during these lifts that Morgan began to sexually abuse his victim. While the abuse was ongoing, Morgan brought the victim presents including an iPad mini.
In January 2013, Morgan took the victim to an address in Blackheath where he offered her a drink of orange juice. After taking the drink, the victim passed out and only awoke hours later with her clothes dishevelled. She told someone about the incident and police were alerted.
Morgan was arrested on 25th February 2013 and denied the allegations. However, analysis of his phones showed that he had made contact with the victim on hundreds of occasions in the short time they had known each other.
Morgan was subsequently charged on 10th December 2013.
Detective Constable Ken Tran of the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command (SOECA) led the investigation.
He said: “Gerard Morgan is a dangerous offender who exploited a very vulnerable child for his own sexual needs. The victim has shown courage in reporting Morgan, who has now been convicted and will go to prison for a long time, safeguarding other children. On release he will be monitored as a registered sex offender.”
Detective Chief Inspector Pete Thomas, also of SOECA, said: “Gerard Morgan is every parent’s nightmare, a sex offender who targets children and tries to beguile them with presents and compliments.
“I believe there will be other victims and I urge them to tell us about what has happened. I would also encourage anyone who has been a victim of sexual exploitation or grooming, or someone who may have information about offenders targeting children, to call us, so we can protect other children.”
Anyone with information about Gerard Morgan is asked to contact SOECA via 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.