A BLACKPOOL man who had a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old girl was “crassly stupid”, a court has been told.
Preston Crown Court heard how Lewis Wenham got to know the youngster through a friend, while his partner was away on a course.
The 23-year-old, of Levine Avenue, Marton, pleaded guilty to two charges of raping of a girl under 13 and two of sexual assault.
Paul Cummings, prosecuting, said the girl got to know Wenham through a 17 year-old-friend.
Police, acting on information, went to Beacon Fell in late July last year and discovered the pair in his parked car. The girl’s mother had been trying to send her phone messages to find out where she was.
When interviewed by police, the girl made disclosures of sexual contact which had taken place in the previous few weeks.
Chris Hudson, defending, said the sexual activity had been fully consensual. Wenham had been 22 at the time.
The girl described the defendant as “like a soul mate”.
Mr Hudson told the court: “They felt they were mutual soul mates. The trips to Beacon Fell were at her instigation, rather than his.
“They would sit there discussing their lives. Sexual activity was almost a by product of that.
“There is genuine contrition on his part. He is amenable to help and wants it.
“He knows he is going to custody. He is an immature young man.”
The barrister said Wenham was an extremely talented sportsman, to a semi professional standard, and had hoped to coach young people but his convictions would make that impossible.
Mr Hudson added “His partner was away working on a mangerial course when the offences occurred.
“He has not gone out to prey on young girls. This was genuine friendship, allied to stupidity.
“He has been crassly stupid while his partner has been away. He will pay dearly for it.”
Judge Michael Byrne adjourned sentencing to Thursday, to consider the case further.
He warned Wenham to expect a “substantial” custodial sentence, adding: “These are very serious offences.”