A father-of-two fixated by “forbidden fruit” has been put behind bars for 18 months after he admitted repeatedly trying to incite a 15-year-old girl into sexual activity.
A court heard that Samuel Brown had time on his hands after being unable to work full time because of mobility problems and became obsessed with the under-age girl.
Jailing 24-year-old Brown, who walks with a stick, Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, the Recorder of Liverpool, said his behaviour had started with “flirtatious conduct” and it “got steadily worse and more suggestive.”
During an eight month course of conduct, beginning with grooming, he asked her in on-line messages to send him photographs of her breasts and sent her indecent photos of himself.
Judge Goldstone said: “You persisted in your conduct towards her even when she asked you to stop. You had become fixated with her and the prospect of what can best be described as forbidden fruit.”
He said that Brown used Facebook and Snapchat to groom her and continued: “You encouraged her to fall out with her best friend, which she did. You insulted her and unsettled a girl who was vulnerable.
“Your conduct only came to an end when her best friend threatened to tell her mother unless she did so herself.”
When arrested Brown suggested someone else had been using his mobile phone to send the messages and only pleaded guilty on the day his trial was due to start.
Brown, formerly of Glebe Road, Skelmersdale, admitted three offences of inciting the girl to engage in sexual activity between March and December 2015.
Andrew Ford, prosecuting, said that Brown sent the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, “lewd sexual proposals on Facebook Messenger.” His behaviour went on for eight months and he ignored her requests to stop.
He had a part time job as a pizza delivery driver and invited her to go out with him while he was working so they could have sex. Sometimes he said he would call back when his wife was asleep and asked her to delete the indecent photographs he had sent her.
In an impact statement the girl said: “I have had to learn the hard way that people like the defendant can pretend to be your friend and end up wanting to do horrible things.”
Liverpool Crown Court heard Brown, now of Burncroft, has no previous convictions and is a family man whose partner gave birth to a child earlier this month.
Brown was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order was made for the same length of time.
Gerald Baxter, defending, said that Brown is remorseful and regretted his behaviour.
Det Con Steve Wilcox, of Skelmersdale CID, said: “Today’s sentencing should serve as a warning to others who target the vulnerable.”