Man locked up for touching schoolgirl

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A man who struck up a friendship with an underage girl - despite her worried parents trying to intervene - has been given six months in a young offender’s institution after admitting committing offences against her.

Timothy Willis, 20, of Hermitage Street, Rishton, Blackburn, admitted two counts of intentionally touching the school girl.

A further count of causing the girl to engage in sexual activity at her home near Preston two years ago has been ordered to lie on the file.

The mums of both the defendant and the victim watched proceedings from the public gallery at Preston Crown Court. Prosecuting, Francis McEntee said the youngster had been chatting to people on social media sites and had engaged in private conversations with them. She had met Willis online when she was 13 and he was 17.

He said: “With reflection of maturity and looking back, it was to do with her own self image because he responded by telling her she looked nice.

“She started chatting to this defendant when she was 13. It became apparent the defendant lived close to her grandmother and they arranged to meet up in person.”

The court heard the girl’s mother had been concerned and had invited him to their home to “lay ground rules” about their friendship. But when the girl’s parents decided to go away, believing she was staying with friends, she had returned home and got in contact with Willis.

Mr McEntee said: “It was arranged he should come to visit the house. When he arrived they went to her bedroom.”

Willis must sign the sex offender’s register for five years and was given a prevention order for five years.