AN ATTEMPT to extend the sentence of a man who touched a child sexually when they had gone swimming in the sea at Boscombe has failed.

Jack Vincent Lane was jailed for 12 months after being found guilty of three offences of sexual activity with a child.

The case of the 23-year-old, of Hangersley, Ringwood, was submitted to the Attorney General's Office (AGO) to assess whether his punishment was "unduly lenient".

Following "careful consideration" by Solicitor General Michael Ellis QC MP, he concluded he could not refer the case to the Court of Appeal.

A spokesperson for the AGO said: “A referral under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme to the Court of Appeal can only be made if a sentence is not just lenient but unduly so, such that the sentencing judge made a gross error or imposed a sentence outside the range of sentences reasonably available in the circumstances of the offence.

"The threshold is a high one, and the test was not met in this case.”

As reported, Lane met a teenage boy from Poole on a number of occasions between March 2017, when his victim was 14, and July 2017. The pair both shared an interest in cars and went to a number of car meets together.

They attended events in Poole, London, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Northamptonshire and the pair also communicated through Facebook as well as text messages.

In July 2017 they travelled together to an event in Ringwood and when they were in the car Lane touched his victim inappropriately.

Around the same time they also went to a mini car show in Devon and on the way back Lane again inappropriately touched his victim.

When the victim challenged Lane, he claimed he had done it accidentally.

That evening they went for a swim in the sea in Boscombe and the defendant touched his victim inappropriately over his swimming shorts.

In November 2017, the victim disclosed the offences to his mother.

Police launched an investigation and examined Lane's electronic devices.

He was made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for ten years, as well as being placed on the sex offenders’ register for the same period.

DC Andy Hale, of Dorset Police’s Child Exploitation Team, said: “Jack Lane groomed his young victim and gained his trust before making repeated sexual advances, despite the boy making it clear they were against his wishes.

“I would like to praise the victim for having the courage to come forward so that Lane could be held accountable for his despicable actions.

“I hope this bravery will encourage anyone else who is the victim of this type of offending to come forward in the knowledge that action will be taken and offenders will be prosecuted.”