A teenage sex offender who sparked a cross-border manhunt when he went on the run accused of raping a schoolgirl has been jailed for 18 months.
Ryan Humpage, 18, (pictured), admitted sexual activity with the 13-year-old after a party at the supported accommodation he was living at in Blackpool on Christmas Day 2013.
He had time on his hands and as a consequence was mixing with much younger people.
However the charge of rape was dropped after the girl – who can not be identified for legal reasons – and a number of other young teenagers, gave evidence in court about what had happened.
On the day of the offence the landlord at the property in Blackpool had locked the premises and the building was closed to residents.
But that evening Humpage invited a group of young teenagers back to the home - which he knew would be empty - for a party.
He broke in through a window and was joined by the youngsters aged between 12 and 15.
Over the evening Humpage, of Cleator Avenue, North Shore, had sex with the 13-year-old four times but when their sexual activity came to the attention of the authorities, Humpage was arrested and charged with rape.
Paul Cummings, prosecuting, said: “There was an element of grooming. Two witnesses spoke of activity taking place prior to this occasion on Christmas night. She had been seen with a love bite from a previous incident.”
Humpage’s defence lawyer Chris Hudson, said his client was an immature 17-year-old when he committed the offence.. He said: “He had time on his hands and as a consequence was mixing with much younger people.”
Facing a charge of rape, Humpage went on the run sparking appeals in The Gazette, the national press and BBC Crimewatch. He was eventually caught in County Antrim, Northern Ireland and detained until his trial.
The court heard prior to the events of Christmas Day, two separate child abduction notices had been served on Humpage by police in a bid to warn him off associating with younger children.
Judge Christopher Cornwall, sentencing, said: “It is a great cause for concern that a 13-year-old girl had intercourse with you.
“She has had a miserable time of it, not only the long delay waiting to give evidence and having her word called into question when she did give evidence.
“She has been fearful of going out because she has never known when out and about she will meet one of your friends.
“She feels wholly unfair pressure has been brought to bear on her. She has suffered badly.
“It is a thoroughly miserable and depressing story all because a 17-year-old who may be immature and may be limited but who is determined and controlling and has an undesirable interest in children younger than himself chose to invite all those people back to the address which he had undertaken he wouldn’t be visiting at all.”
The court heard the 18-year-old is also serving a custodial sentence for an attack on his girlfriend during a camping trip to Northamptonshire in which he burnt her with a can of body spray and a lighter,
He sent Humpage to a Young Offenders Institution for 18 months and made a sexual harm prevention order banning him from having unsupervised contact with any girl under 16.
Humpage is now also subject to the notification requirements for five years.