From Devon & Cornwall Police:
A 39-year-old Cornish man has today been jailed for nine years after grooming a 14-year-old girl into sexual activity.
Delvin Cox met the West Devon girl earlier this year and befriended her through social media, gaining her trust through friendly messages.
He told her that he loved her and eventually persuaded her to meet him on a number of occasions for sexual activity.
Cox, of Egloskerry near Launceston, appeared before Plymouth Crown Court on 19 July and pleaded guilty to eight counts of sexual abuse – six counts of having sexual activity with a child, one count of engaging in sexual communication with a child and one count of causing a child to engage in sexual activity with an adult.
He appeared back before the court for sentence today, 27 August, and was jailed for nine years and given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for life; he will also be on the Sex Offenders Register for life.
The abuse was revealed when the victim’s parents discovered concerning text messages of a sexual nature from Cox on her phone.
They took her to a police station on 14 July this year where she disclosed that Cox had groomed her, had sexual intercourse with her in his car and carried out other sexual acts with her on other occasions.
Cox was arrested in the early hours of Wednesday 15 July. His mobile phone, devices and his 4×4 vehicle were seized and forensically examined.
The victim attended a specialist suite later that day where she explained to police that Cox had befriended her through social media. He would listen to her concerns regarding school, called her ‘sis’ and asked her to call him ‘bro’ and told her he loved her.
The messaging continued over several months with Cox eventually asking the girl to send him pictures of herself. The situation escalated when Cox asked to meet up and go for a drive.
They met a number of times near Tavistock over several weeks until the final time on 14 July. Cox used these occasions to take advantage of the relationship that he had founded with her.
In police interview on 15 July Cox accepted that he had been communicating with the child on social media but claimed that the exchanges had not been sexual in nature. He also accepted that he had continued to meet the child in secret and take her out in his car.
Cox said that they would park up and talk about her problems but these meetings never developed into anything more and that they were only friends.
As part of the investigation police examined the social media accounts of the victim and Cox.
No communications were found on Cox’s Facebook account, however the victim’s account revealed a lengthy message thread containing sexualised messages from Cox about the times they had met and future occasions he was planning.
As a result of police enquiries Cox was charged and remanded to Exeter Prison.
In sentencing His Honour Judge Mousley told Cox that the offences were made more serious as the victim was vulnerable due to her age. He said his actions had ‘wrought a huge amount of damage on the family unit.’
Case officer Detective Constable Craig Ferguson said: “I am pleased at the outcome of today’s proceedings. We have worked hard as an investigation team to support the young victim and her family in this case.
“The family should be proud of the support and strength that they have shown for their daughter.
“The victim has shown tremendous resolve and courage throughout the police investigation.
“She was made the subject of difficult evidence gathering procedures and has remained very strong with the help of her family throughout.
“Delvin Cox is a manipulative and devious man who exploited the trust and friendship of a young child to satisfy his sexual urges.
“He acknowledged an understanding of the age of consent and expressed disgust at the allegations before him in his police interview.
“In truth he knew what he had done to this child and the lengths that he had gone to in order to achieve his warped sexual goals.
“I hope this outcome and the sentence serve as some comfort to the victim and her family as she now tries to move on from what has happened to her.
“Devon and Cornwall Police remain committed to supporting victims of sexual abuse and their families. We will investigate such matters robustly and seek justice for those affected by these horrific crimes.”
Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a crime that can affect any child, anytime, anywhere. For further information about support and advice available: https://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/advice/threat-assault-abuse/child-sexual-exploitation/
Police can also be contacted via email@example.com or by phone on 101.