April 2005

Man jailed for sex with underage girls

A MAN had sex with a 12-year-old girl he contacted through a satellite television dating channel, a court heard.

When the relationship ended, David Roberts turned his attentions to her 14-year-old friend, and that also resulted in the pair having sex.

Roberts, 32, was yesterday jailed for five years.

Durham Crown Court heard that the initial contact with the 12-year-old emerged through Roberts’ interest in a dating channel.

David Wilkinson, prosecuting, said Roberts exchanged texts with the girl, who told him she was in her 20s.

The texting went on for a few months until they arranged to meet. The court was told Roberts realised she was not 20, although she said she was 14. Mr Wilkinson said the girl agreed to have sex with Roberts at his home.

Although they later fell out, Roberts began texting one of her friends, a 14-year-old.

Mr Wilkinson said they went to his house for sex, but the relationship ended when her parents found out.

Roberts admitted having sex with both girls on a consensual basis, and neither made any complaint to police.

Alex Burns, in mitigation, said Roberts was immature for his age, and that other than these offences, was “a reasonably good citizen”.

Roberts, of Stafford Place, Peterlee, County Durham, admitted unlawful intercourse with a girl under 13, and two charges of sexual activity with children.

He was also placed on the sex offenders’ register and restricted from coming into contact with children for seven years.