Devon

TV show parent from Devon jailed for groping young girl

Terence Lai Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Terence Lai denied sexual assault but was found guilty by a jury

A man who appeared alongside his son on the Channel 4 TV show Child Genius has been jailed for three years for groping a 12-year-old girl.

Terence Lai, 54, from Seaton, Devon, met his victim through his work as a life coach, Exeter Crown Court heard.

He assaulted the girl in his car on 30 July, putting his tongue in her mouth before groping and kissing her breasts, the jury heard.

Sentencing him, Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC said Lai had been "infatuated".

Following the assault, Lai sent her a series of e-mails over the next 24 hours in which he spoke about forgiveness and appeared to apologise for "breaking boundaries".

He also tweeted: "Every 1 made mistakes? Some made serious mistakes at some point? I made a few unintentionally. How to avoid making them again ... make amends? Learn from mistake, Offer sincerely + unreserved Apology, Promise not to do the same mistake +Back to Normal?"

The 54-year-old, who appeared in court under his birth name Yuen Lai, denied sexual assault but was found guilty by a jury.

Judge Mercer said: "You did what you did because you were infatuated by her. It was very wrong.

"In the aftermath you were asking for forgiveness. I am sure that is the proper interpretation of what you were writing."

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