Merseyside Police can confirm that 45-year-old Edward Brooks from Southport was sentenced yesterday (Monday, 21 December) at Liverpool Crown Court to four years and two months imprisonment after pleading guilty to a total of 15 drug and sexual offence charges. Brooks was also issued with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 5 years.
Brooks was convicted of supplying cocaine and Zopiclone to a vulnerable 16-year-old girl with intent to commit a sexual offence against her. He was also convicted of supplying Diazepam and Dihydrocodeine, and making indecent images. Brooks had initially befriended the victim, who had started work at his partner’s place of work.
Detective Sergeant John Harrison of the Matrix Sex Offenders Unit said: “Brooks’ actions were despicable, grooming and exploiting the victim’s vulnerability, and administering her with drugs, including sleeping tablets, actions which were carried out with a sexual intent. This was a complex investigation due to the age and vulnerability of the victim and the drugs that were administered.
“I would like to take this opportunity to praise the victim for her immense bravery in giving evidence to help secure justice, which has been supported every step of the way by the police and our partners.
“We would urge other victims of sexual offences, whether they are historic or otherwise, to not suffer in silence and instead tell someone what has happened to them.
“The force is committed to the protection and wider safeguarding issues of young people. In doing so we view the abuse or grooming as unacceptable and will work with partner agencies to investigate and where possible prevent such abuse.
“We all have a duty of care to protect young people from harm and I would encourage parents, grandparents, teachers, health professionals, social services and any other adults to take a little time to better educate themselves about child sexual exploitation.
“Merseyside Police has a great website called www.listentomystory.co.uk which highlights these issues from young people’s perspectives and also shows where you can get help if you have any concerns about any child you know.
“It helps victims to find the right kind of support and advice if they have suffered abuse in the past. It also has loads of information for young people to help them if they think they are being exploited, or if they are worried one of their friends may be.”
Anyone who would like to report a sexual offence or anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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