Thornton man buys teen phone and proposes marriage

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court

A man accused of committing sexual acts with an underage girl has told a jury how he bought her a phone - despite being served with an abduction notice by police relating to the same youngster.

Preston Crown Court heard in a text message to his alleged victim, Robert Hanson, 31, of Bowness Avenue, Thornton, had told a 15-year-old girl he wanted to marry her, and start a family with her.

Really can’t wait til the day you become my bride

Jurors were told the girl’s father had previously confronted him as he rode a bike past their home and told him to keep away from his daughter, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Hanson, who was in the witness box giving evidence on the third day of his trial, said: “ I was confused, shocked.”

He denies four counts of sexual activity with a child under 16.

Prosecuting Jacob Dyer said: “Did it dawn on you that your relationship, you 27 she 15, was a serious problem?”

He replied: “Yeah.”

Hanson, who had already been served with the notice by police against the girl, told the court she had “appeared on his doorstep with her pet dog” a month after it was issued and broke down in tears.

He admitted he had later bought her a pay as you go phone which he topped up with credit, and told her to hide it from her family.

When asked why he bought it he said: “I wanted to make sure she was OK.”

Mr Dyer said: “ What was it that turned her father against you?”

He replied: “I don’t know.”

The jury was taken through several text messages sent by him to her.

Mr Dyer quizzed him about why he was sending the schoolgirl messages at 1.31am when he knew she had school the next day, to which he replied he “couldn’t sleep”.

In one he wrote “Really can’t wait til the day you become my bride” and “I love you so much babe”.

(Proceeding)