A PERVERT has been jailed for engaging in a sex act with a 14-year-old girl he had groomed over the internet.
Preston Crown Court heard how Andrew Payne had contacted the youngster via her Facebook profile.
They sent messages to each other by computer and phone before meeting up on the car park at Sainsbury’s at Bispham.
There in a car, Payne propelled her to touch him in a sexual manner.
The 25-year-old defendant of Waterside, North Shore, had earlier admitted one offence of meeting a child following sexual grooming and one of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
Andrew Cresswell, prosecuting, said Payne saw the girl’s Facebook profile and added her to his internet address list.
The two began communicating. She told him her age and he claimed to be 17.
The two had contact via the computer and by phone. Payne went on to ask her if she was prepared to “pull a sickie” from school, in order to meet up.
Both had web cams on their computers. During one exchange, Payne had requested to see the girl’s underwear, but she refused.
They arranged to meet up and the girl arrived in her school uniform.
They sat in his car, though initially she would not get in, having been warned about such situations by her father.
Payne put his car keys on the dashboard to persuade her nothing would happen. He took hold of her hand and rubbed it, because she looked cold.
He then took hold of her hand for sexual touching.
Afterwards, the girl described feeling “horrible” about what had happened.
Rachel Woods, defending, said “This is a classic case of there being an underlying problem with the defendant.
“If intervention is given at this stage, the risk could be nipped in the bud.”
The barrister said the girl had been a willing participant in meeting up, although she went on to find the experience uncomfortable and embarrassing.
Miss Woods added: “At the moment, he is a low risk of re-offending. The public would be better served long term if he was given the opportunity of a long community order.”
Sentencing him to six months jail, Mr Justice MacDuff said: “This is a tragic case. You are clearly a young man with a great deal of potential and good about you. You have to understand these were serious offences for which you need to be punished”.
Payne will remain on the sex offenders register for seven years and subject to a sexual offences prevention order.