A MAN who had sex with an 11-year-old girl at a party is today waking up behind bars.
Preston Crown Court was told the youngster had “flirted” with Mark Davies and was heard to whisper a suggestive comment to him beforehand during a party in Peter Street, central Blackpool, in the summer of 2009.
Sex took place between them by consent in the summer of 2009.
Davies, 25, who had been living in Charles Court, Blackpool, had pleaded guilty to a charge of raping a child under 13.
The offence was classed as rape because the girl was below that age.
The defendant appeared at the sentencing hearing on screen, via a videolink from Wandsworth prison.
Davies was 23 at the time of the rape.
Paul Brookwell, prosecuting, said the case was brought on the basis that the girl had consented to sex.
There had been no coercion or force of any kind.
Davies had come to know the youngster through a friend. He had known the 11-year-old for several weeks before sex occured.
At the time of the offence, a friend of the defendant had been having a party at his address on Peter Street.
Music was played and people were drinking.
Mr Brookwell told the court: “Prosecution witnesses say the girl flirted with the defendant. She was heard to whisper a comment to him.”
At around 1.30am they went upstairs and sex took place.
Some time later the girl came down and told others she had had sex with him.
The matter was reported to the police after the girl disclosed what had happened to a friend and a social worker found out.
Davies left the area immediately after the incident and was arrested in Birmingham in August 2009.
In police interview he admitted having been at the party and that he had been drunk, but denied any physical contact took place.
He said he had taken amphetamine and heroin over a two day period.
He had a number of previous convictions on his record, but none of a sexual nature.
Virginia Hayton, defending, said: “He knows he will be in custody for some time.”
He was someone with mental health difficulties and although still relatively young, had struggled with drink and drugs for many years.
The barrister added: “He has done everything in his power to rid himself of his addiction.”
Jailing Davies for five-and-a-half years, Judge Michael Byrne told him the offence was a very serious one which could not be overlooked.
He added: “I regard the age as one of particularly vulnerability in your victim.
“It is a vulnerable, sensitive and impressionable age for developing maturity towards an adolescent teenager”.
Davies will be on the sex offenders register for life and subject to a sexual offences prevention order for eight years.