A judge has jailed a Burton Fleming man who groomed a teenage girl for sex because a message must go out to deter old men seeking out young girls on the internet.
John Worthington, 40, pursued a 15-year-old on Facebook after a chance meeting with her father, an old school friend, while her family was on holiday in Bridlington.
They exchanged details and met regularly when the family returned for holidays in Bridlington.
Worthington became obsessed with his daughter first becoming friends on Facebook then getting her mobile number for secret texts.
She shared the same profile with her mother and assumed her mother had accepted him as a friend.
Worthington and the girl were soon sending each other daily messages, which at first were relatively innocuous, Hull Crown Court heard on Monday 27 January.
Worthington then asked for the girl’s mobile phone number claiming he had internet problems and they began texting.
The girl’s father became aware of the contact and told Worthington to stop, but he carried on.
“Gradually, over time, the messages became more inappropriate and became sexual in nature,” said Crown barrister Nicola Quinney. He was saying what he wanted to do to her in a sexual context.
“Initially she said she felt good about it. He then sent her pictures of himself undressed. She sent picture of her. He suggested they should meet up in June at a camp site so they could have sex.”
The offences came to light when she told her mother about the messages when they became explicit.
Worthington, of West Lane, Burton Fleming pleaded guilty to charge causing a child to watch a sexual act and inciting a child following sexual grooming.
Worthington was arrested and admitted knowing she was 15, sending the photograph and also a video of himself performing a sex act.
Defence barrister Anil Murray said: “He is a naive and unworldly man. He was not good at school. He lived with his mother until she died eight years ago and then with his uncle until he died six years ago. He now lives with his father.
“The defendant doesn’t clean his own shoes and doesn’t do his own cooking. His father tells him what to wear. He could not post a letter properly because although he put a stamp on it he did not know he should have weighed it.”
He said: “If he sees someone who smiles at him in the street, he will say that they are his friend. He has always worked, but as a result of this his licence has been terminated.
Judge Mettyear said: “I accept you are a rather simple and lonely man, naive in many ways, but not entirely stupid.
“You were capable of knowing what you wanted, persisting with this relationship even after her father had warned you to leave her alone.”
“This is a very prevalent offence at the moment. Older men are getting in touch with young girls over the internet and getting them to do things.
“Those girls need protecting from themselves and their parents need to know that the courts will take action to do what they can to discourage conduct of this type.”
He jailed him for six months and also made him subject to a five-year sexual offences prevention order.