Pervert is jailed

PUBLISHED: 11:59 06 November 2008 | UPDATED: 09:57 10 June 2010

An Exmouth man, who had illicit sex with a schoolgirl on Valentine s Day, having groomed the lonely and vulnerable teenager, has been jailed for four years. Passing sentence at Exeter Crown Court, Judge Graham Cottle told White: I had the advantage of he

An Exmouth man, who had illicit sex with a schoolgirl on Valentine's Day, having groomed the lonely and vulnerable teenager, has been jailed for four years.Passing sentence at Exeter Crown Court, Judge Graham Cottle told White: "I had the advantage of hearing from the girl and my impression of her was that what happened to her on Valentine's Day was something that she was extremely uncomfortable with. "You took disgraceful advantage of her and then swapped one lie for another. First you said nothing had happened and she was a liar, then you said she was telling the truth but it happened in the way you said."She was very vulnerable and unhappy and you groomed her before committing what was a serious offence of its kind. "After your conviction, you told the probation officer that you took a chance with a trial because you thought you could undermine the prosecution. I consider that stance a serious aggravating feature."The court heard 49-year-old Michael White took advantage of the teenage girl, who came from a broken home, and had a low self-esteem.Prosecutor Malcolm Galloway claimed White gradually built up a rapport with the girl, starting with a kiss, then touching her before taking her back to his hotel room where he had sex with her.Prior to that he had sent her sexy text messages and a picture of himself in the shower. Her response to that, thinking that he loved her, was to send him a picture of herself topless.The girl was to say later that she felt awkward about what was happening, but it appeared "he loved me".Mr Galloway said White took advantage of the girl's vulnerability and loneliness to push things as far as he could before finally having sex with her. He showed her attention and flattery and that was "all part of the grooming process".Eventually, the girl blamed herself for what had happened and realised it was not the love and romance she thought it would be with an older man. She felt he was taking advantage of her for "sordid sex".The jury heard the girl then started self-harming. The victim wrote a letter, detailing her ordeals, and gave it to a teacher she trusted. That led to the police being called in.White, of Exeter Road, Exmouth, had pleaded not guilty to the charge of sexual activity with a child but was convicted by a jury.Mitigating, Kelly Scrivener said, since the conviction, White had admitted to the probation service that he was responsible and should not have let it happen.In addition to the prison sentence, White was banned from working with children for life and ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders' Register, also for life.

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