BAFTAs: Gogglebox cast react to winning reality show award
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Andrew Bennett, 47, cornered a teenage boy at a house and made sexual advances to him, leaving the victim “in tears”, the court was told. The former Gogglebox star has been jailed for the sex attack, which also caused the teenager to “suffer flashbacks”.
The Sunderland man initially denied all charges against him, claiming his actions were due to the effects of “slimming drugs”.
However, he later admitted to one charge of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and two of sexual activity with a child after DNA connected him to the teenager.
Andrew had taken “selfies” with the boy before cornering him on the sofa, touching him inappropriately and attempting to lure him into the bedroom for a sex act, the court heard.
The sex offender has since been sentenced to 29 months in prison.
He will also have to sign the sex offenders’ register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for a decade.
Judge Tim Gittins told Andrew: “You sought to blame slimming drugs for your behaviour.
“I acknowledge this was an aberration in your behaviour, it was unplanned and only occurred because you were intoxicated.”
Prosecutor Glenn Gatland informed the court that Andrew had been drinking at the time of the assault.
He told the court: “He started saying he was gay and was asking (the complainant) if he was gay. The complainant said he was not gay.
“The defendant started to put his hands down his pants again, then told him to turn away from him and started kissing him on the back of his neck and gave him a lovebite.”
The court heard Andrew then told the victim: “If he was straight he would tell him he didn’t want him touching his penis.”
The teenage boy apparently told the Channel 4 star that he was a child and asked him to “stop”, but the court heard Andrew continued to pursue him.
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After Andrew asked if the teen wanted to join him in the bedroom for a sex act, he reportedly left the house “in tears”.
The victim said of the incident: “I am trying to be positive and move on, however, I do think this will take some time.”
Andrew Jones from The North East’s Crown Prosecution Service said: “Andrew Bennett forced himself upon his young victim, touching him inappropriately before attempting to incite him into further sexual acts.
“Jones explained that the teenage boy told his family of the incident the next day and they contacted the police.
“During his first interview with police Bennett denied having touched his victim, claiming only to have spoken to the boy at the time of the alleged attacks,” he continued.
“But then claimed that his behaviour had been affected by slimming tablets when further physical evidence was shown to him.
“The Crown Prosecution Service has worked closely with police, piecing together forensic evidence and witness testimony to build a robust case, which has been instrumental in securing guilty pleas to all charges against the defendant.
“Andrew Bennett carried out these attacks in a selfish pursuit of his own sexual gratification and the impact on this boy has been significant.
“We sincerely hope that the sentence passed today provides some measure of comfort to him.”
Andrew’s lawyer Gavid Doig said the star “could not be more remorseful” for his actions.
He had featured in the 12th series of Channel 4’s Gogglebox alongside his best friend Fawn.
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