A man who used a false identity on Facebook to befriend a schoolgirl he wanted to have sex with has been sent to prison for three and a half years.
Liam Broatch was 23 when, using the name Darren Waddington, he got to know the 15-year-old on the social network site, Carlisle Crown Court heard.
Then, using his real name, he contacted the girl to tell her that the ‘other man’ had been spreading rumours about her sexual behaviour.
She believed Broatch had done her a favour by telling her and became a good “mate”, chatting with him innocuously on Facebook and through text messages, prosecutor Gerard Rogerson told the court.
She then agreed to his suggestion that they should meet, telling him that it would be an excuse for her to “get out of the house”, so he started taking her for rides in his car.
But, after telling her he was “getting sick” of his long-time girlfriend he was soon texting her on a daily basis, telling her he would like to “do stuff” with her, Mr Rogerson said.
She took that to mean sexual activity, he said.
“She went along with it because she didn’t want to lose him as a friend and have no one to go out with,” he said.
But on one evening, while she was with him at his mother’s bungalow he started to rub her leg before sexually molesting her. Then – while she was “frozen in shock” – Broatch pulled the girl on top of her and had sex with her, he said.
The girl eventually told her teacher, who informed her parents and the police.
Broatch, who is now 25 and lives in Kells, Whitehaven, pleaded guilty to sexual grooming and sexual activity with a child.
Passing sentence Judge Paul Batty QC said Broatch’s bogus identity was an aggravating feature of the case because it showed he used “manipulative and devious subterfuge”.
The judge said that what Broatch did fell some way short of rape but “she felt pressurised and coerced because she was in a vulnerable position in your house”.
Broatch, who had never been in trouble before, was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely. He was also banned for the next ten years from having unsupervised contact with any girl aged under 16, apart from members of his own family.