Friday, 29 April 2016

Lawrence Lewis was arrested after a distressed girl told her mother what he had asked her and a friend to do.
07:42, UK,Friday 29 April 2016
Undated handout photo issued by Hampshire Police of Lawrence Lewis
A Father Christmas lookalike described as a "dirty old man" has been jailed for 22 months for grooming two young girls.
Lawrence Lewis, who was known to children for his fat stomach and bushy white beard, pleaded guilty to three charges of inciting a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity.
Prosecutor Robert Forrest said the 57-year-old, from Waterlooville, Hampshire, had twice approached a girl in a pub last December and January and offered her money to expose herself.
He made a similar offer to her friend on a separate occasion.
Lewis was arrested when one of the girls told her mother. 
Undated family handout photo of Lawrence Lewis
The prosecutor said the girls had known Lewis as "Father Christmas", a role which he had performed on a number of occasions.
Mr Forrest said: "This defendant was a regular of that public house; he was known by several other regulars as Father Christmas and Santa because of his appearance at the time ... He was known on several occasions to act as Father Christmas."
Sentencing Lewis, judge Shamim Qureshi said it was an unusual case which did not fit normal sentencing guidelines.
He said: "When Father Christmas turns out to be a dirty old man asking to look at their underpants and private parts, we have a very different situation regarding the Sentencing Council."
Lewis was barred from playing Father Christmas for 10 years and banned from contact with girls under 16.
He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders' register and pay a £100 victim surcharge.
Defence lawyer Lian Webster-Martin said Lewis was "genuinely remorseful".
She added: "He has shaved his beard and wishes to step away from any suggestion he is performing that role..."