Bedford man jailed for sex in park with underage girl

Chuman Pal. Image: Bedfordshire Police
Chuman Pal. Image: Bedfordshire Police

A Bedford man who had sex in a park with a 14-year-old girl that he had groomed was jailed for 5 years and 3 months today.

Chuman Pal, 45, was given a five-year extension to the sentence by the judge who said it was needed to protect the public. It means that when he is released from the jail sentence he could be recalled to prison at any time up to the year 2033.

Prosecutor Robert Meikle told Luton Crown Court he met the girl in Bedford town centre in June.

He took advantage of her by offering her drugs, kissed and complimented her by saying she looked good. They had penetrative sexual activity in bushes off Castle Road and again in a public place off the town centre.

The prosecutor said the girl told him she was only 14. He was arrested after she told her family who called the police. In a victim’s personal statement, the teenager said she felt very depressed about what happened.

Pal, of Columbine Close, Bedford, appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to five charges of engaging in sexual activity with a child and one of possessing drugs found on him on his arrest.

He had 30 convictions for 66 offences. He was out of prison on licence from a four-and-a-half-year sentence for blackmail when he had sex with the girl.

Defending, Simon Connelly said Pal had been “wracked by guilt.” He said “He was taking crack cocaine and that was distorting his behaviour.

He feels disgusted. It is conduct he is clearly ashamed of.”

Judge David Farrell KC said: “You took advantage of her vulnerability. You offered her drugs and groomed her by complimenting her. You knew full well she was only 14.”

The judge told him he was passing an extended sentence because he poses a significant risk to the public.

Detective Sergeant Clare Alden-Farrow, from Bedfordshire Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People team, said: “Pal spotted this young girl and deliberately targeted her so he could groom her as a means for his own sexual gratification.

“He clearly took advantage of her by giving her drugs, but thankfully the girl disclosed what had happened to her parents and he was arrested.

“Combatting violence against women and girls is a huge focus in policing. We are working tirelessly to put abusers behind bars and this case should serve as a warning to other perpetrators that we will do whatever it takes to bring a case to court and get justice for victims.

“If anything has happened to you, no matter how long ago, it is never too late to come forward and tell us. We will do everything we can to get justice for you, and we have a number of specially trained officers who are here to support you.”

Reporting by South Beds News Agency
Additional reporting by Paul Hutchinson for the Bedford Independent

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