Jail for Padiham man (23) after schoolgirl sex

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

A Padiham man who repeatedly had sex with a schoolgirl has been jailed for three years and four months.

Burnley Crown Court heard how the teenager met up with Shaun Wilkinson (23) several times a week. She cannot be named for legal reasons.

I accept there was no force, no threats, no coercion, but you plainly took advantage of her affection for you

Judge

Wilkinson, of Cobden Street, had earlier admitted two specimen charges of sexual activity with a child. He had denied child abduction and assault by beating and his pleas were accepted by the prosecution.

The defendant, who has a long record for violence, but no previous convictions for sexual offences, was ordered to sign the sexual offenders’ register indefinitely.

Stephen Parker (prosecuting) said Wilkinson and the girl began messaging on social media. They had just general conversation to begin with, but then discussed sexual activity.

The girl’s account was that the defendant said he would wait until she was 16 to begin with, and was quite clear about that, as he knew he could get in trouble with the police due to her age.

But, the prosecutor said, that didn’t happen, they began having sex and she said they did it perhaps more than 20 times, up until soon before he was arrested.

Mr Parker said Wilkinson had been served with an abduction notice, had signed it and knew he was not to become involved with the girl.

Kathryn Johnson (defending) said he had pleaded guilty at the outset.

The barrister said: “Clearly, he has to be sentenced for what is a serious matter, notwithstanding the fact it was a consensual sexual relationship. But, it’s a serious matter because the complainant was under the age of 16.”

Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt told Wilkinson he knew that what he had done was not just morally wrong, but unlawful, yet it did not deter him.

She added: “I accept there was no force, no threats, no coercion, but you plainly took advantage of her affection for you.”