Murray Bridge horse trainer jailed for manipulating teenaged girl
Kevin David Frew will spend at least 18 months behind bars.
A Murray Bridge horse trainer will spend up to two and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to manipulating and grooming a teenaged girl.
Kevin David Frew was sentenced in Adelaide’s District Court on April 21, on a charge of communicating with a child with the intention of making them amenable to sexual activity.
The girl worked at Frew’s stables, washing his horses and attending racing events with him.
Police and racing stewards were made aware that the pair had been seen drinking together at the Murray Bridge Hotel on October 18, 2019.
He was 58 and she was 16 at the time.
Stewards directed Frew to have no further contact with the girl, but they were again spotted at the pub together several weeks later.
This time police arrested him on charges of supplying alcohol to a minor – to which he pleaded guilty – and ordered him to have no further contact with her.
Yet less than three months later, on January 20, 2020, a text message exchange with Frew was found on the girl’s phone.
The pair had sent each other more than 200 messages, signing many with an “x”.
One of the messages from Frew was of a sexually suggestive nature.
Despite his arrest, Judge Emily Telfer said Frew had continued to leave handwritten notes for the girl, “expressing affection and a desire to be together”.
His offending had not been spur-of-the-moment or driven by alcohol, Judge Telfer said as she handed down his sentence.
“It is clear that you were cultivating an emotionally intimate relationship with her,” she said.
“I do not accept that the conduct was opportunistic or resulted from you succumbing to temptation offered to you by the victim.
“It is clear that you cultivated the relationship and created the opportunities.”
His emotional manipulation had disrupted the girl’s relationships with the people closest to her, the judge said.
She sentenced Frew to a minimum of 18 months in prison.
“Communicating with a child to make them amenable for sexual activity is a serious offence,” she said.
“Sexualisation of children makes them vulnerable to sexual abuse.
“The law is in place to protect children from such abuse.”
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