March 2020

South Yorkshire man told schoolgirl ‘just pray I don’t get sent down for sleeping with you’

A South Yorkshire man who “begged” a 15-year-old schoolgirl to have sex with him told her: “Just pray I don’t get sent down for sleeping with you.”

Reece Ellis met the girl on social media in 2016 when she told him he was in Year 10 and he warned her not to speak about their relationship.

“She was asked not to go to his home to avoid being seen with her in public,” said prosecutor Richard Sheldon. “She said no and he begged her to have sex with him.”

Ellis was jailed for a driving offence in January 2017, but continued to have contact with her in prison and the relationship resumed on his release in April.

“It was not forced and she is adamant she consented, although she was persuaded initially,” said Mr Sheldon. “They spoke openly about her being 15. There was some grooming behaviour used here.”

The court heard Ellis, who had sex with the girl on four occasions, gave a no-comment interview to police after his arrest in October 2017.

In a statement, the girl, who is now 18, said: “I was a young girl with no worries. When I met him that changed. I worry other relationships will be like that.

“I was constantly on edge and felt under threat. I wish I could turn back the clock and had never met him.”

She said her GCSE results suffered as a result of the anxiety.

Ellis, 22, of High Nook Road, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual activity with a child.

Judge David Dixon imposed a 16 month sentence, suspended for 18 months, and an 18 month community order.

Ellis was ordered to attend a sex offenders programme and 15 rehabilitation sessions, as well as 100 hours of unpaid work.

A Sexual Harm Prevention Order banned him from contact with the girl for life or any deliberate, unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18.