Man arrested over alleged grooming

A LOCAL man is facing possible extradition to the United States to stand trial for an alleged sex offence against a 15-year-old girl.

Detectives this week arrested 36-year-old James Horsfield in connection with an alleged incident in Texas in July.

Horsfield, who lives at Jervaulx, near Leyburn, was arrested by North Yorkshire Police for an alleged offence of 'grooming', which is contrary to the Sexual Offences Act of 2003.

An affidavit was filed in Austin, Texas on Tuesday. Police allege Horsfield met the girl through an Internet chat room.

Austin Police Department, whose child abuse unit's work includes the investigation of Internet crime, asked North Yorkshire Police for help with their inquiries.

In a brief statement on Wednesday, North Yorkshire Police said: "As a result of information received from the police in Austin, Texas, a 36-year-old man has been arrested for an alleged offence of grooming."

Police spokesman Ron Johnson said Horsfield had been released on police bail, pending further inquiries.

He could now face extradition proceedings to the US.