A 71-year old man has been jailed for child sex offences today, Thursday 23 June.
Leslie Foster, of Canning Street, Liverpool, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to nine and a half years, plus four and a half on extended licence, for two counts of causing and inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity, and two counts of attempted kidnap with intent to commit a sexual offence.
On Saturday 25 September 2021 at around 3.20pm, we received a report that Foster had approached two young children in Home and Bargains in St John’s Precinct and made sexual comments towards them.
Patrols attended and, following enquiries, quickly detained and arrested Foster in St John’s Precinct.
He was questioned by police, charged and remanded into custody.
On 3 March 2022 at Liverpool Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to the child sex offences.
Detective Constable Rachel Roberts said, “We welcome the fact that Foster will spend several years behind bars and can no longer cause fear and harm to children.
“We would like to thank the victims and their parents for the bravery and strength they have shown throughout the investigation to trial.
“I would also like to thank the staff in Home and Bargain who quickly alerted police to allow us to arrest Foster quickly so that he could be brought to justice.
“Anyone that has been a victim of a sexual offence, or suspects this has happened to someone they know, should come forward and speak to us. We have a team of dedicated staff who will expertly and compassionately deal with your reports and we will do everything we can continue to bring offenders to justice.”
Senior Crown Prosecutor Mairead Neeson, a specialist lawyer with CPS Mersey-Cheshire’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) unit, said, “What Leslie Foster did on these three occasions is every parent’s nightmare.
“The Crown Prosecution Service’s case was that he was trying to lure these very young girls away for sexual purposes.
“We believe that, had these children gone with him, he would have committed a sexual act on them. He took one child’s hand so that he could use it to stroke his groin.
“However, instinct is very powerful, and these children immediately knew that what was happening to them wasn’t right.
“Very young children may not fully understand what is happening but instinctively know it is wrong. On two occasions, the sisters of the victims intervened and took the children away, showing the power of siblings’ protective nature.
“Without the instinctive reactions of these children, Foster’s offending could have had far more serious consequences.
“The Crown Prosecution Service would like to pay tribute to the actions of the victims and their families at the time and for their help in building this case.
“We hope the relatively speedy conclusion of this prosecution helps them to move on with their lives.”
Any child, or young person who is a victim of sexual abuse is urged to come forward and report this to police. Call 999 if you suspect such an incident is in progress, or pass any other information via 101, @MerPolCC on Twitter, or anonymously via 0800 555 111.
You can also contact Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre Cheshire and Merseyside, who can be contacted on 01925 221 546 or 0330 363 0063 or Rape and Sexual Assault Merseyside (RASA) on 0151 558 1801
Image: Leslie Foster courtesy of Merseyside Police