A man who sexually abused a 13-year-old girl and took obscene photographs of her has been jailed for three years four months.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that 54-year-old Geoffrey Massey would pay the teenager after molesting her at his home in an attempt to keep her quiet.

But his crimes eventually came to light after he confessed to his daughter, who told other relatives.

In April, following the revelations, his young victim took an overdose and had to be treated at hospital.

Jailing 54-year-old Massey, who is a Jehovah's Witness, Judge Adrian Lyon said “I have regard for the totality of the offences and in particular the last count, which dealt with a number of photographs you took of the child, aged 13, on your behalf.

“There seems to have been a number of occasions on which you engaged in sexual activity with this child.”

When the girl was interviewed by police she initially denied Massey had done anything wrong. She told officers he had given her the money for cleaning work.

But after officers re-interviewed her after getting more information, she revealed what had been happening, saying she had “felt too foolish” to admit it.

Massey, of Twickenham Drive, Leasowe, admitted sexual activity with a child, two counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one further offence of making indecent photographs.

The pictures were never discovered because he had deleted them from his computer.

Lee Bonner, defending, said once his client had begun the abuse he was too scared to stop for fear his victim would expose his crimes.

“Essentially, once he had begun he found it very difficult to stop, not because of any particular sexual satisfaction, but because once it had begun and he had begun to give her money he feared the complainant might tell people when the flow of money stopped.”

Mr Bonner told how Massey, who had no previous convictions, had left his family, but had been the subject of a “hate campaign” in his community.