May 2012

Facebook ban for man who had sex with girl, 14

A PAEDOPHILE who had sex with a 14-year-old girl he met on Facebook has been jailed and banned from using the website to contact young girls.

John Tait, aged 29, admitted sexual activity with the girl on September 12 last year and has been jailed for three years. The court heard that Tait even wrote a letter to the girl saying he loved her while he was in custody awaiting sentence.

Tait got to know the 14-year-old through a mutual friend who introduced the pair on the internet social network.

Bolton Crown Court heard that Tait, of no fixed address, initially thought the girl was older as her date of birth was given as 1995 on Facebook, and they exchanged sexual messages.

But David Toal, prosecuting, said when the pair met in September at Moses Gate, Farnworth, and went back to his home with friends he suspected she may be younger than she claimed after seeing a white shirt, similar to a school shirt, in her bag. Tait admitted having unprotected sex with the girl but said he did not force her. Tait had a number of previous convictions, including a jail sentence for having a samurai sword in public, harassment, battery and had been served with a notice for an abduction of a 14-year-old girl in 2008.

Nicola Gatto, defending, said Tait was misled by the girl about her age and claimed the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was mature for her age and was already sexually active.

Judge Elliot Knopf said: “I accept the Facebook entries indicated she was 16 but it’s also clear that by the time you had sex you knew full well or fully suspected she was below the age of 16. ”

Tait was ordered to sign the sex offenders’register for life. He was also banned from having contact with girls under 16 without supervision and from contacting underage girls on Facebook and online newsgroups.