Worthing taxi driver jailed for sexually assaulting teenager he groomed on Instagram
A Worthing taxi driver has been jailed for sexual offences against a teenage girl he had groomed online.
Andrew Cullen, 53, of Worthing and formerly of Wick, was jailed for seven years at Portsmouth Crown Court on Friday (March 5).
Cullen was found guilty of grooming and five counts of sexual assault by touching against a teenage girl following a week and a half trial ending on January 20.
A former licensed taxi driver in Worthing, Cullen has already been fired and had his licence revoked.
He will serve the first five years in custody and the remaining two years on extended prison licence supervision.
He will also be a registered sex offender for life and was given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) to last until further court order, severely restricting his access to computer devices and young people.
Detective Constable Louise Clark of Chichester CID said; “Cullen made contact with this young girl and systematically groomed her over many occasions over period of months. The direct sexual contact was limited but his intention was clear.
“Eventually his activity was uncovered in June, 2019, when by mistake he drove the girl in his taxi to what he thought was a quiet lane in Crossbush but which was in fact the drive to someone’s house. As they were there, the owners returned home and confronted him, realised what was happening, and told the police.
“This is another example of the way in which youngsters can be vulnerable to approaches, often online, from people they do not know and who have sinister intentions.”
Advice for young people and parents on how to spot and deal with such approaches is at the Sussex Police website.