Suspicious wife who set up spy cam to catch ‘cheating’ husband found he was grooming 14-year-old girl – The Sun
A SUSPICIOUS wife who set up a spy cam to catch her husband cheating instead caught him grooming a 14-year-old girl.
Anthony Merrikin's wife was horrified to see him abusing the teenage girl in his office after thinking she had a love rival.
She confronted the charity boss, 42, with a still from the video and he confessed.
Merrikin was jailed for six years and nine months, given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order, and must sign on as a sex offender indefinitely.
Prosecutors told Grimsby Crown Court that Merrikin groomed the teenager and there was sexual behaviour between them in his office.
Robert Underwood, mitigating, said: “It was a moment of madness.”
Merrikin, from Cleethorpes, ran a building firm but also set up a charity called Mascot Memories.
It raised thousands of pounds by providing mascots dressed as characters from Frozen, Paw Patrol and Toy Story to entertain children at parties.
The court heard Merrikin’s had given up work and the family home was up for sale.
Judge John Thackray QC told Merrikin: "These are very serious sexual offences against a child."
'FELT TRAPPED AND SCARED'
The Grimsby Telegraph reports his victim later said: "Throughout this time, I just felt that I was worthless. I felt that I was dirty.
"I felt horrible for deceiving my mother. I am living in constant fear that something is going to happen.
"At the time this was happening with Tony, I felt trapped and scared. I know what was happening with Tony was wrong.
"I cry a lot. It hurts a lot. I try not to think about Tony because it brings back bad memories.
"I still think about what happened every day."
Merrikin admitted three offences of sexual activity with a child and another of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.
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