A man from Heanor has been jailed for nearly two-and-a-half years for starting a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old schoolgirl.
Eric Flint admitted six charges of committing sexual acts with the girl as well as one charge of making indecent photographs of the youngster on his mobile phone.
Flint, now 21, formerly of Midway, in South Derbyshire, was said to have been 18 when he began a relationship with the girl — who herself was just 13 at the time.
Stafford Crown Court was told that when the relationship became of a sexual nature, the defendant was 19 and the victim 14.
Nick Burn, prosecuting, told the court it was clear that regular sexual activity took place and said that Flint knew of his girlfriend’s age. Indecent images taken during sexual activity were also found on his phone. It was accepted these were taken with consent.
Mr Burn said when the relationship ended, there was a comment made that the defendant would distribute the images. He added: “This appears to be utmost in her mind when she made the complaint to the police.”
Darron Whitehead, defending, read to the court the basis of his client’s guilty plea which included that the victim was the one who initiated the idea of a sexual relationship. He added: “It is important and worth emphasising this was a genuine connection between two young people who were experiencing and exploring together.”
Judge Michael Cullum conceded that there was no doubt the victim was consensual to the intercourse and the taking of photographs, but the courts had a duty to ‘protect children from older people and themselves’. He said the lengthy period of time over which there was a sexual relationship and the number of occasions was a significant aggravating factor.
He sentenced Flint to two years and five months imprisonment for all the charges and ordered him to register as a sex offender.