Published: 00:01, 23 April 2014
A pervert who groomed a schoolgirl for sex on the internet and downloaded child abuse images has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.
James Newman made contact with the girl on a social media site called BearShare in January last year when she was aged 12.
They continued to chat on Skype with Newman claiming he was 18.
He told her his true age - 23 - before arranging to meet her shortly after she turned 13.
Prosecutor Paul Valder said Newman picked the girl up in his car at Rochester railway station and drove her to an industrial estate in Strood.
They kissed and undressed before having consensual sexual intercourse in the back of the car.
It was the same scenario when they met on two further occasions, Mr Valder told Maidstone Crown Court.
Newman did not use a condom and the girl was concerned on the second occasion that she could be pregnant. He advised her to have a pregnancy test.
It proved negative but she had the same fear after the third occasion and confided in a teacher at her school. Her family and the authorities were informed.
Newman was arrested at his home in Longfield Avenue, New Barn, near Longfield, in November.
Computer equipment was seized and almost 200 images and movie clips at all levels of seriousness were found.
He admitted three offences of sexual activity with a child and five of possessing indecent images of a child. He denied a rape charge and a not guilty verdict was entered.
Louise Oakley, defending, said Newman became isolated and “incredibly withdrawn” after he was bullied at school.
“He was spending more and more time in his bedroom and turned to the internet,” she said.
“He accessed images and received them from other people. He desperately wanted to seek help but didn’t know where to turn.”
Miss Oakley added: “Prison is having a significant impact on him. He is not a lost cause.
"He is young and has a lot to learn. He will come out, no doubt, a different man than when he went in.”
Newman was sentenced to four years for sexual activity with a child and six months consecutive for possessing the images.
"He is young and has a lot to learn. He will come out, no doubt, a different man than when he went in” - Louise Oakley, defending
Judge Charles Macdonald QC said there had been planning and grooming and there was a significant disparity in age.
“Custody is the only possibility here for this kind of offending,” he added.
“You are truly sorry and, perhaps most importantly, there is a lack of maturity which has affected your responsibility.”
A sexual offences prevention order was made for 10 years and Newman will be on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.