Manchester sex scandal: 19-year-old caught cuddling with minor girl in movie theater ordered to sign Sex Offender Register
A teenager who was caught getting comfortable with a 14-year-old schoolgirl as they watched a movie together at the cinema has now been ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register
On February 24 this year, a 14-year-old youngster, who cannot be named for legal reasons, sat beside 19-year-old Callum Chant at a movie theatre. The pair were seen to close in on each other during the film as if they were about to kiss. They were spotted by the girl's mother and stepfather who turned up unexpectedly to check on them. Chant allegedly touched the girl's leg and bottom over her clothing before they were caught by the girl's family.
A court heard that Chant and the girl "sat next to each other and their heads moving close to each other", according to a CCTV footage obtained from the cinema in Bury by the girl's mother. According to Chant, of Bury, Greater Manchester, the pair had agreed to go with friends to watch the film, but the group they were with left them alone together.
He was arrested and issued with a Child Abduction Warning notice urging him to stay away from younger girls. Just three months later, he was arrested once again after a 15-year-old girl was found at his apartment, Daily Mail reports.
Callum Chant admitted sexual activity with a girl aged under 15 and child abduction at the Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, and was ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register for five years after it was revealed that he was 18 at the time of the offenses. While both girls in question refused to make a statement to authorities, Chant was also subjected to a two-year community order and instructed to abide by a four-month curfew from 7 pm to 7 am.
Katherine Johnson, prosecuting, said: "That day the 14-year-old's mother received a telephone call saying she was going to the cinema with the defendant. Her mother didn't know him but was told he was 18. She and her partner went to the cinema, and her partner went in to find the girl. He saw her there with him and they were sat close together."
"She was shocked to see him, and the partner asked Chant if he knew she was 14. The defendant replied saying 'yes' and that they were just friends. The two said they had been with other friends who left the cinema earlier. The partner then told the girl to leave with him which she did."
The mother then made inquiries with the cinema to see CCTV footage of the pair, Johnson said, which showed their heads move close to each other as they watched the movie.
She added: "They denied that they kissed at all, but there was some touching of her bottom shown on CCTV over clothes and on her leg. He was placed under a child abduction warning notice on 13th March but he said they were friends and wanted to meet up. He did accept he had touched her bottom on the day he was interviewed."
Johnson continued: "On May 9 the other girl had been staying with her grandma but she didn't return home and her grandma learned she had gone to the defendant's flat. The girl refused to let her grandma in when she turned up and did this for an hour. She managed to get in and the girl was in the flat with Chant and another male. Her grandma got in and the young persons tried to prevent her to get in the living room. On 13th May the girl had not returned home again and was in fact reported missing at 10 pm. Her grandma sent a taxi to her and asked her to come back home with the defendant and said she wished to meet him, to trick her to come home."
She added: "They turned up and her grandma spoke to him and he denied being in a relationship with her, but the police attended and he was arrested in the early hours of 14th."
"He was interviewed in relation to both offenses he was in the company of the girl. On 9th he had gone to the flat so his friend could charge his phone. On 13th he met up with her and they went for a Chinese with their friend. He believed the warning notice had been lifted. Being out on that time put him in breach of bail as it was past his curfew time anyway. He was not supposed to have any unsupervised contact with anyone under 16. Both girls refused to make a statement."
Daniel Colder, defending, said his client had been rejected by friends his own age because of his physical appearance, although he "recognizes these are serious offenses".
Sentencing Judge Mark Savill told Chant: "There is nothing technical about these offenses. She was a child and it was sexual activity and you have to understand the seriousness of it. It has been evaluated that you do not pose a high risk of immediate harm, you are genuinely remorseful and are not someone with an interest in underage girls. But if you are foolish enough to breach this court order you will be back before me. You should consider yourself extremely lucky."