A MARRIED dad has been jailed after having sex with two young girls he met in a children’s play area.
Preston Crown Court heard Lee Porter was visiting a friend in Thornton when he came across the teenagers in the park.
The court was told the girls, who were 13 and 14, had been drinking when they met Porter in the Butts Road area of the town at around midnight one day in April last year.
The 31-year-old, from The Esplanade, Poulton, lied about his age to the girls, telling them he was 21, while one of the teenagers pretended she was 15 or 16.
Porter had denied three charges of sexual activity with a child, but was convicted following a trial and has been jailed for five years.
The court was told he had slept with both girls in the same night, one of them twice.
But his crimes came to light after the girls, who knew Porter’s name and the van he drove, confided in a friend who went on to damage Porter’s van and sparked a police investigation into what happened.
Porter was eventually arrested after he was spotted driving the van after he had been drinking, and was also charged with driving while unfit.
Kevin Donnelly, defending, told the court Porter’s offences had been opportunistic, and said: “There is a distinction to be drawn here between those people with paedophile tendencies and a different category of offences, where relatively young men engage in sexual acts with post pubescent girls. It would be wrong to class the defendant as a predatory paedophile.
“He has learned a salutary lesson which will impact greatly upon his future conduct.”
Jailing him, Judge Stuart Baker described it as a “sad” situation.
He said: “It is truly a sad occasion when the court has to pass a sentence upon a young man who has led an industrious life, who is married and with children of his own and who can be regarded as someone of good character. This was undoubtedly serious offending.
“I accept the offences don’t demonstrate any predatory paedophilic tendency on your part. You didn’t go out looking for young girls to seduce or molest, but you took the opportunity when it arose. In my view, your actions were entirely reckless and thoughtless. You were presented with an opportunity and you simply didn’t care what the true position was.
“I find you took advantage of their young age, their immaturity and, what would have been obvious to you, their intoxication.”
Porter was jailed for four years and nine months for the three sex offences, three months for driving while unfit, put on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely, banned from working with children and banned from driving for a year.