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Child groomer jailed for six years
1:51pm Thursday 10th October 2013 in News
A Merseyside man had sex with a 13-year-old girl after grooming her on the internet and shot explicit photographs and videos of her.
As well as filming their sexual activity Francis Carroll also persuaded the Wirral youngster to wear her school uniform so he could photograph her posing in it.
Jailing Carroll for six years, Judge Robert Warnock said he presents "a serious risk of causing physical harm to others and children in particular.
"It is clear you obtained sexual gratification from the videos and photographs I have had the misfortune to have to see today."
He said that 25-year-old Carroll, who has no previous convictions, comes from a good family "and there were no indications you would behave in that depraved and dangerous way."
Judge Warnock described the sexual abuse as "considerable" and taking place over almost three months. "I have no doubt whatsoever that she will be and remain for some time a damaged young individual."
He imposed an extended two-year licence and told Carroll that he will serve four years of the prison term and then be on licence for a total of four years.
Martine Snowden, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that their relationship began in April last year via an internet site on which she claimed she was 15 and he pretended to be 16.
The messages began and continued in a sexual explicit nature though she quickly disclosed her real age and he said he was 20 and repeatedly suggested they meet.
They first met in a park on May 20 and after chatting he began molesting the girl and asked her to perform a sex act.
They met again on June 6 in the same park and they had sex in the bushes.
Their third meeting was on July 31 when he went to her home and filmed them having sex in her bedroom on her phone.
"She felt used as every time they met he said had to go afterwards," said Miss Snowden.
In subsequent messages he asked her to meet him and bring her school uniform. She initially refused but then agreed after he threatened to hurt her.
After concerns were raised she was quizzed by her school and when she admitted what had been going on, Carroll was arrested.
When his computer and their phones were interrogated details of their messages and activity were found.
John Weate, defending, said that Carroll is a hard working young man and his family were so distressed they had been unable to come into the courtroom.
Carroll, who had previously met adult women via the internet, had lived an unblemished life until forming the relationship with the girl.
"The defendant for reasons unknown to himself at that very early stage could have backed off and he didn't. He understands with hindsight that is the biggest mistake he has ever made in his life," said Mr Weate.
His behaviour will have "a real impact on his life until his dying days," he added.
Carroll, of Summer Seat, Vauxhall, Liverpool, had pleaded guilty to seven offences of sexual activity with a child and nine of making indecent images.
Carroll was also ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life and imposed an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order restricting his internet use and unsupervised contact with children.
He must also notify the Sexual Offenders Unit if he intends staying more than two consecutive nights away from his home.