A HORSE riding instructor has been sentenced after sending sexual messages to a girl under the age of 16.

Alice Pearse, 26, of Fairlands Farm, Landford Wood, pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual communication with a child.

She was sentenced today, January 14, at Salisbury Crown Court and given a 24 month community order and a five year restraining order.

This restraining order included instructions not to contact the victim directly or indirectly.

In October last year, the mum of the victim reported concerns to Wiltshire Police over inappropriate contact from Pearse to her daughter.

On the victim’s phone were numerous sexual messages from Pearse to the victim as well as offers to buy the victim a new mobile phone and helping them run away.

Pearse was arrested that same month, October 2021, and had her mobile phone seized at Melksham Police Station.

She has been added to the sex offender’s register for five years and is no longer an accredited coach.

Child Abuse Investigator Kirsten Woodward said: “This sentence was brought about by the parents spotting that something wasn’t right with their daughter and coming forward to the police.

“I would encourage parents to keep an eye out for any signs that a child might be being sexually exploited, including changes in behaviour and mood, spending more time online and becoming secretive over it and receiving unexplained gifts.

“This person was in a position of trust, which makes it even more concerning for those involved.

“I hope this sentence will encourage others, especially parents, to come forward and speak to us, no matter when the offence happened.

“It is our duty to protect children and young people from risk and take allegation of this nature extremely seriously and will continue to work tirelessly to bring those responsible to justice.”

Police encourage victims of child sexual abuse to call 101 and speak to specialist detectives.

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