Gogglebox star jailed for sex attack on tearful boy he blamed on slimming drugs
Former Gogglebox star Andrew Bennett has been jailed for a sex attack on a teenage boy.
The 47-year-old, who featured in the 12th series of the Channel 4 show, cornered the teenager at a house and subjected him to an attack that left the boy 'in tears' and suffering flashbacks.
He had taken 'selfies' with the teenage boy before cornering him on a sofa and shoving his hands down his pants, giving him a hickey, and even attempting to lure him into a bedroom for a sex act.
At first, Bennett, of Sunderland, denied all charges and claimed his behaviour was due to 'slimming drugs'.
He later admitted 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 teenage boy.
Judge Tim Gittins has sentenced him to 29 months in prison, with Bennett now having to sign the sex offenders registers as well as abide by a sexual harm prevention order for a decade.
Judge Gittins told the sex offender: "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."
The prosecutor, Glenn Gatland, told the court that the former Gogglebox star was drinking and asked the boy if he and his girlfriend had had sex before putting his hands down his pants.
"He started saying he was gay and was asking (the complainant) if he was gay," Gatland explained. "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 Bennett then told the victim "if he was straight he would tell him he didn't want him touching his penis".
The teenage boy told the disgraced star that he was a child and told him to 'stop', however, the court heard that Bennett still continued to pursue him.
After Bennett asked if the teen wanted to into a bedroom for a sex act, the teen left the house "in tears".
Bennett was arrested and told the police that it was the slimming aid that made him act that way.
The victim has been left with "flashbacks" and added: "I am trying to be positive and move on, however, I do think this will take some time."
Defending Bennett was Gavid Doig who said the star 'could not be more remorseful" for his actions.
CPS North East's Andrew Jones 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, but then claimed that his behaviour had been affected by slimming tablets when further physical evidence was shown to him," Jones continued.
"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."
He said: "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
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