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Saturday, 23 August 2014

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Cumbrian man, 26, admits he had sex with girl, 14

A 26-year-old man has been put on the sex offenders’ register for having sex with a schoolgirl after picking her up from a bus stop.

Carlisle Crown Court heard the 14-year-old had consented to everything Rohan Priyantha Skelton did with her and even sent him two photographs of herself naked from the waist up.

But Judge Paul Batty QC told him: “Girls have to be protected – often from themselves. Although it is plain that this girl was consenting to all that occurred, she was only 14 years of age – she was a schoolgirl – and you perfectly well knew that.”

Skelton, of Kirkby Thore, near Penrith, pleaded guilty at Carlisle Crown Court to two charges of sexual activity with the girl.

He also admitted sexually grooming her and possessing two indecent topless photographs of her.

A third charge of sexual activity was left lying on the court file. Prosecuting counsel Kim Whittlestone told the court the girl got to know Skelton after her friends told her to add him to her list of friends on Facebook.

“Very quickly the relationship turned to discussions of sexual matters, although she indicated very early on that she was 14 and still at school.”

Ms Whittlestone said Skelton initially told the girl he was 18, then revised that upwards to 23.

But, she said, the pair continued to talk about sexual matters – “what she had done in the past, what he wanted to do with her and what she would like to do with him.”

On one occasion in May he picked her up from school and took her to his home, where they “kissed and touched”, the court heard.

On another he took her to his home again after picking her up from a bus stop, and had sex with her.

When Skelton asked the girl for a photo she sent him two that she had taken previously, showing herself topless.

“She willingly did it,” Ms Whittlestone said.

Skelton was remanded on bail for reports, on condition that he does not communicate with the girl, and will be sentenced on January 31.

Judge Batty described the case as a “difficult and serious” one.

Prison could not be ruled out, he said.

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