An ex-lap dance club manager who locked a 14-year-old girl in his car and sexually assaulted her is starting a three-and-a-half-year jail term.
Predator Lewis John Lamb, 39, who at the time had a heavily pregnant wife at home, attempted to blame his victim by claiming she came on to him and refused to get out of his car.
But Durham Crown Court heard the balding 39-year-old had been ‘cruising’ around the North East trying to lure a number of underage girls into his VW Passat.
He convinced the 14-year-old to get in his car at Ferryhill, in County Durham, on June 30, saying he needed directions to Ferryhill Station - a nearby town he knew well.
Once inside, the girl told him she was just 14 and he began to make flattering comments, telling her she was ‘very pretty’ and ‘looked much older’.
He then locked the doors and pulled up down the road, asking if she wanted to kiss him. When she replied ‘no’, he put his hand on her leg and kissed her.
Two days later, he targeted a second girl, just 12, by again claiming he needed directions. When she pointed to her home, a stone’s throw away, the pervert sped off.
Lamb, described in court as “articulate” and “intelligent”, was found guilty of child abduction, sexual assault on a girl under 16 and attempted child abduction after a trial in which both his young victims gave evidence.
He was sentenced to seven years, half of which he will serve in jail and half on licence.
It also emerged Lamb, of Ramsay Street, Tursdale, County Durham, the former manager of Diamonds lap dancing club in Newcastle, was issued with a harassment notice after he attempted to entice a 16-year-old at a bus stop in Gateshead into his car in 2010. He also followed the bus before the girl asked someone for help.
Judge Christopher Prince said Lamb was “in denial”. He said: “I have no doubt you would have proceeded sexually as far as you could whilst you detained that girl in your car. Thankfully, she escaped.
“Sentences are not increased because of defences put at trial but at this trial you demonstrated a complete lack of remorse by instructing your counsel to put to [the girl] that she got into your car uninvited and began making sexual advances towards you.”
He added: “You deny that they were targeted because of their age. You deny having a sexual interest in children. Those are young ladies of good character and integrity. You are a liar.”
Lamb will also be placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.