Southport man jailed for sexual activity with a child
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A Southport man has been jailed after admitting multiple offences of sexual activity with a child.
28-year-old Alin Cobzaru, of Scarisbrick Street, Southport, was convicted of four counts of sexual activity with a child involving penetration at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday, 11 February and jailed for 7 years, 8 months.
He was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register and comply with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for life.
The offences were reported in November 2020 and, following an investigation by police, Cobzaru was arrested, quickly charged and remanded into custody.
Cobzaru initially denied committing any sexual offences against the girl when she was under 16. This forced his victim to go through two trials, one which collapsed due to coronavirus issues and one which resulted in a hung jury.
Ahead of a third trial, Cobzaru admitted four offences of sexual activity with a child.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Parry from the Force’s Protecting Vulnerable People Unit said: “Cobzaru exploited his victim for his own sexual gratification and it is a relief that he has now been dealt with by the courts.
“I would like to pay tribute to the strength and bravery shown by the victim throughout the investigation. While she and her family have received the full support of our officers from the moment the offending was reported and right through the court process, the impact of Cobzaru’s actions will last a lifetime.
“By initially denying the offences, he has put his young victim through the additional pain of being forced to relive her ordeal through his trial and it is pleasing to know he behind bars and can no longer cause harm to others.
“Finally and most importantly, I want to reassure the communities of Merseyside Police simply will not tolerate anyone who seeks to exploit young people in this way.
“If you are a young person and are being subject to sexualised behaviour you are not comfortable with, whether in person or via messages and social media, please contact police.
“We have a specialist team committed to dealing with all forms of child exploitation, and they will treat any information you give extremely seriously, and will follow up any information they receive..
"If you have any suspicions about young people who could be at risk of this type of offending, please call police straight away. We can make an assessment and take the necessary action.
“Call 999 if you suspect such an incident is in progress, or pass any other information via 101, @MerPolCC on social media, or anonymously via 0800 555 111."
You can also visit https://www.listentomystory.co.uk/ which is a campaign to raise awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation, where parents, teachers, carers and young people can learn about potential warning signs.
Merseyside Police, alongside three other forces, have also been part of a pilot project for a new service to report rape, sexual assault and other sexual offences online – with the option to report anonymously.
The new online Rape and Sexual Assault reporting service is now live on the website here: https://www.merseyside.police.uk/ro/report/rsa/alpha-v1/rape-sexual-assault-other-sexual-offences/ and enables people who do not require immediate police assistance to report the crime via their local force website.
Support for victims is also available through the registered charity the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre Cheshire and Merseyside, who can be contacted on 01925 221 546 or 0330 363 0063 or Rape and Sexual Assault Merseyside (RASA) on 0151 558 1801.