Trafford Center worker treated and sexually assaulted boy on camping trip
A Trafford Center worker who treated a child before sexually assaulting him on a camping trip has been jailed.
Christopher Mark Robert Spencer, 41, gave the 14-year-old alcohol and cannabis and let him use his bank card to play the Fortnite video game.
He had befriended the family of the victims – but a judge said Spencer, of Radcliffe, Bury, was grooming the boy.
After giving him alcopops and cannabis, Spencer abused the child while he was trying to sleep.
The boy walked away and he said Spencer had apologized.
Now Spencer, who worked as a store manager at the Trafford Center, has been jailed for three years and three months.
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He was found guilty of having sex with a child and pleaded guilty to providing cannabis.
“In my opinion, Mr. Spencer, you took this opportunity to groom him for the purpose of sexually abusing him,” Judge John Potter told him.
“Your abuse of him had a profound effect on him.
“It is clear that your victim, a few years later, still suffers from anxiety and difficulty accepting the abuse you have caused him.”
Minshull Street Crown Court has learned that Spencer took his victim on trips, including to the Trafford Center and on country walks, and bought him fast food.
He allowed the boy to use his bank card for Fortnite, prosecutor Geoff Whelan said.
Spencer booked a trip to Yorkshire, where the abuse occurred. The court heard that to “make sure Spencer did not assault him again,” the boy brought a friend with him on another occasion.
Spencer also gave this boy cannabis.
The victim said she has since taken counseling and suffered from panic and anxiety attacks.
He said he believed his ordeal affected his education.
In defense, Isobel Thomas said it was a “very short incident” which lasted “a few seconds”, and described it as “opportunistic”.
She said it was “out of character” for Spencer, who had never been convicted of sexual offenses.
Ms Thomas said there were “real concerns” that if Spencer was jailed, the family members he lived with could become homeless as he is the primary breadwinner and pays the mortgage.
“He tells me he’s absolutely terrified of going to jail,” she said.
But Judge Potter said the case was so serious that Spencer, of Shakespeare Avenue, Radcliffe, should be jailed.
An injunction was also imposed.
Spencer also admitted to providing cannabis to another 14-year-old boy.