Reece Ellis, aged 24, formerly of Doncaster Road, in East Dene, Rotherham, sexually abused a 15-year-old girl during two incidents in Rotherham before he armed and injured himself with an air rifle, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
Ian Goldsack, prosecuting, told the hearing on May 11 that Ellis touched the girl’s breasts, touched her private parts and got her to touch his private parts in October, 2018.
Mr Goldsack added that after the youngster immediately told her family, Ellis shot himself in the head with an air rifle and he grabbed a knife and said he was going to kill himself.
Judge Jeremy Richardson QC told Ellis during a subsequent hearing on May 12: “You indulged in what can only be described as bizarre conduct in relation to a firearm. You caused injury to yourself with it.
"You threatened people and you had a bladed article with you at the time. It is self-evident you were suffering some kind of psychotic problem.”
The complainant also revealed that she had previously been groped by Ellis in June, 2018.
Ellis, who has previous convictions, admitted three counts of sexual activity with a child, one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in a sexual act, affray, and possessing a bladed article in public.
The defendant also admitted two counts of breaching a previously imposed Sexual Harm Prevention Order between July and August, 2020, after he had unauthorised contact with a youngster and after he had a relationship with a 16-year-old.
Amy Earnshaw, defending, pointed out there had been a long delay in bringing the case to a conclusion and if Ellis had he been imprisoned sooner he would not have been in a position to breach his SHPO.
Ms Earnshaw added that Ellis has reflected on his offending and he has been honest about his feelings towards sexual relationships.
Mr Goldsack said delays had been caused by logistical difficulties concerning a witness statement, the Covid-19 lockdown and obtaining medical records.
However, Judge Richardson stressed the matter should have been brought before the court in 2019 or in early 2020 and if that had been the case Ellis’s SHPO would not have been breached.
He added that the delays were not the fault of the court but were down to the prosecution process and subsequently Ellis had to be afforded some mitigation and a shorter custodial sentence.
Judge Richardson said he would be contacting the CPS and South Yorkshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable because this case demonstrated the serious consequences of not bringing defendants to court quickly enough.
He also warned Ellis that he had come close to being declared a dangerous offender.
Judge Richardson told Ellis: “You are dancing – so to speak – on the edge of a volcano in that regard."
He added: "Should there be anything like this again – almost as certainly as night follows day – you will be declared a dangerous offender and there will be a very long sentence.”
Judge Richardson sentenced Ellis to five-and-a-half years of custody, imposed an indefinite restraining order and extended his SHPO to run for ten years.