A man who had sex with a 13-year-old girl he met via the social networking site BBM, was jailed at Stafford Crown Court yesterday (December 16) for 40 months.
Robert Michael Turner, aged 21, of Bloxwich Road South, Willenhall had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to four charges of engaging in sexual activity with a girl under the age of 16.
The court heard the girl told police she met Turner via BBM and they chatted and messaged one another and spoke via mobile phone for a couple of weeks before meeting for the first time close to where she lived in August 2014.
They had had sex on a number of occasions in a park.
Two teenagers who knew Turner told him on separate occasions that the girl was only 13 and one of them said she told him, “it was wrong.”
Turner told police the girl had sent him a friend request through BBM which he accepted. Whilst chatting she told him she was 16 and had a boyfriend but two days later told him she was only 14. He claimed he told her she was too young for him but they could chat as friends.
Detective Inspector Simon Caton, who led the investigation, welcomed the sentencing. He said: “Staffordshire Police does not tolerate sexual crime of any kind and is committed to bringing offenders to justice.
“We carried out a thorough investigation into the circumstances of this case and welcome the sentence received today by Turner who took advantage of a 13-year-old girl he met while social networking.
“We would encourage everyone, and especially children and young people, to protect themselves online. Parents and carers should also be vigilant as to whom their children are messaging or chatting with via social networking sites.”