An ex-Burnley man has been jailed for three years for sexual offences against two different teenage girls in the area.
Jack Tomlinson (24), of Stanley Road, Keighley, had pleaded guilty to nine counts of sexual activity with a child and was found guilty by a jury in March of a further two counts, Burnley Crown Court heard.
Mark Savill (prosecuting) told the court that the mother of one of the girl’s had become suspicious of contact between the two but when she quizzed her daughter, she was told nothing was going on.
But the court heard that the girl had left school one day early without permission and went home in floods of tears.
Tomlinson, Mr Savill said, had then pestered the girl with “large numbers of messages” via social network sites and the police were contacted.
On arrest, Tomlinson admitted touching the girl on “four or five occasions” and said he thought he had been in love with her.
The court heard he had continued the offending while on bail.
Kathryn Johnson (defending) told the court that the probation service felt they could work with Tomlinson, a man of previous good character and who had never been to prison.
Ms Johnson asked whether the Judge could consider a suspended sentence for Tomlinson, a father of two, something she described as “not a soft option” with the courses he would have to complete.
But Judge Andrew Woolman said that Tomlinson should have known sexual activity with young girls was “wrong” and that what he was doing was “against the law”.
The Judge added that Tomlinson had persisted in one case “not really caring” about what the law says about sex with young girls.
Judge Woolman said it was a “difficult sentencing exercise” as people had spoken well of Tomlinson adding: “I recognise that this is going to fall hard on you and your family.”
Tomlinson was given a 10-year sexual offences prevention order and ordered to sign the sexual offenders register indefinitely.