A NINE-year jail sentence has been handed down to a 21-year-old man convicted of multiple child sex offences, some of which took place in Minehead.
Austin Stuart-Taylor, of Taunton, supplied his victims with drugs before sexually exploiting them at addresses in Minehead, Taunton and Wellington.
In total, he abused four girls aged between 13 and 17 from 2015 to 2017.
On the first day of his trial at Bristol Crown Court, he admitted two counts of offering to supply Class A drugs and one of offering to supply a Class B drug.
Following those three admissions, he was found guilty of a further 12 offences.
In addition to being jailed at a sentencing hearing last Friday, he was also given a ten-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order, a ten-year restraining order against all the victims and he will be on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely.
He was found guilty of three counts each of sexual activity with a child, possessing indecent images of children and of offering to supply a Class B drug.
He was also convicted of one charge each of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, offering to supply a Class A drug and permitting a premises to be used for smoking cannabis.
During the trial, the jury was told neighbours would often see girls dressed in school uniform attend the properties occupied by Stuart-Taylor.
There, he would provide them with drugs including cannabis, ketamine and MDMA.
The jury heard that sexual images and moving video footage of children as young as three were found on Stuart-Taylor’s computer.
An examination of his phone also found a substantial number of photos of his genitalia, some of which, the court heard, were sent to his victims in an effort to groom them. He also repeatedly asked his victims to take indecent pictures of themselves and send them to him.
Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Phillip Clarke said: “Austin Stuart-Taylor is a manipulative individual who plied young girls with drugs in order to gain influence over them and abuse them.
“It’s clear he has a disturbing interest in young girls from the images found on his electronic devices.
“His actions were deliberate and calculated and there is absolutely no doubt he knew how old his victims were when he engaged in sexual activity with them.
“Together with Barnardos Against Sexual Exploitation (BASE), support has been provided to all the girls through what has been a lengthy criminal justice process and I hope now Stuart-Taylor has been handed a substantial prison term they can move on with their lives.”
At the hearing, the judge awarded commendations to DS Phillip Clarke, DC Paul Moares and Investigations Support Officer Alan Chambers for their work on the investigation. The judge also awarded a commendation to Kate Chisnall from BASE.
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