A 26-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for more than three years after having sex with a teenage girl he befriended on the internet.
Craig Sheen, of Roseberry Avenue, Wood End, pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual activity with the 14-year-old girl on April 16, knowing she was underage.
At Coventry Crown Court Matthew Brook, prosecuting, said Sheen contacted the girl through social networking site, Facebook.
Through the internet, the pair spoke on several occasions and Sheen had invited her to visit him in Coventry. Sheen lied to the teenager about his age, telling her that he was just 18.
It was not until they met and Sheen bragged about having more than 12 years of sexual experience that the teenager realised he was in fact much older. Mr Brook told the court the girl’s mother had warned Sheen to stay away from her daughter, but he ignored her pleas.
When the girl’s mother contacted him he also lied that the teen was at his house.
Mr Brook added: “He (Sheen) was full and frank in his interview and he expressed remorse for what he had done.
“He said he was fully aware of her age and that everything had taken place with her consent and encouragement.”
Sheen was arrested at 2.30am on April 16 after the girl’s mother alerted police.
Sally Hancox, defending Sheen, said he was a man of generally good character and the girl had admitted to fully consenting to the sexual activity between them.
She added: “The pair had come into the contact with each other through the internet.
“They had never met before that day and there are so many people who find themselves lured in that situation.
“This was a friendship that got out of control.”
Judge Marten Coates said although the sex was consensual, the offence was still serious.
Sentencing Sheen, he said: “The sole purpose of you meeting the girl was to have sex with her.
“You knew she was underage and that her mother was distressed and in panic about where her daughter was. And you lied to her about the girl’s whereabouts.
“The activity that took place between the two of you was consensual but meeting her on the internet aggravates the offence and you abused the position you were in.”
Sheen was sentenced to three years and six months in prison. He was also placed on the sex offender register until further notice.
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