A 19-YEAR-OLD Tetbury man targeted under-age girls at a Cirencester school and sexually molested them, a court was told today.

Samuel Trinder of Romney Road, Tetbury, pleaded guilty at Gloucester crown court to a number of charges involving two girls, aged 14 and 15.

All the offences occurred in the Cirencester area between February 7 and March 22, last year, the court heard.

Trinder admitted touching the private parts of the two girls and getting one of them to perform a sex act on him.

He also admitted engaging in sexual communication with the 14-year-old, asking her for nude pictures of herself and offering to send her pictures of his own private parts.

However, he denied penetrative sexual activity with both girls and those pleas were accepted by the crown.

Prosecuting barrister Ian Fenny said “The defendant has difficulty getting on with girls of his own age and so he targeted younger girls outside a Cirencester school.

“Staff at the school became concerned as the defendant was loitering outside and seen to walk off with a couple of young girls.

“The police were called and on one occasion officers followed the defendant and the two girls.”

The court heard that one of the complainants became upset and told the police what had been happening.

Said Mr Fenney: “The girls actually liked the defendant although when he tried to persuade them to have sexual intercourse they refused. To be fair to him, he accepted that and did not pursue the matter.”

Judge Ian Lawrie QC said “The law is there to protect young and vulnerable girls from themselves. They were clearly out of their depth.

“There also is an element of grooming here, as is clear from the sexual communication charge.”

Defending lawyer Sarah Jenkins said: “These friendships started before my client’s 18th birthday and he now has a girlfriend in her 20s.

“He had maturity and behavioural problems and this has been a massive learning curve for him.”

Warning Trinder that the offences “crossed the custody threshold” Judge Lawrie QC ordered a full pre-sentence report to be repaired by the probation service.

Trinder was granted conditional bail and the case was adjourned until November 11 when he will be sentenced.