Two men have been jailed for sexually abusing a girl and posting pictures on the internet in an appalling case that lays bare the sickening reality of child sexual exploitation.
Carl Atkinson, 21, of no fixed abode, and Daniel Ross, 20, of Moor Nook, Preston, had sex with the vulnerable 14-year-old, who had been drinking vodka.
They then posted the video online.
Yesterday Atkinson was jailed for three years and four months and Ross for two years and eight months, and both were given sexual harm prevention orders.
Det Insp Warren Atkinson said: “Unfortunately I don’t think this case is unusual, and that’s why we are urging parents and carers to be aware of the signs their child may be being groomed.”
Preston Crown Court heard Ross had previously been served with a notice warning him to stay away from the youngster, and had a conviction for abducting another girl.
Prosecutor Holly Betke said: “The victim had been at home and had been drinking vodka. She went out, met the defendants and there was a third male present.
“She said whilst out she had got another bottle of vodka from a girl she knew. She said had consumed so much she was ‘smashed’ and she found herself back at the third man’s flat.
“Once in the flat she says she had asked Atkinson to have sex with her while the others played a PS4. After this she became sick from the alcohol and vomited in the kitchen.
“After that Ross then started pestering her to have sex with him.
“She says no, but in the end she gives in and has sex with him on the bed, while Atkinson and the third male are still in the room playing the PS4.”
She described how Atkinson had joined in with the pair and recorded the act and the girl became aware, thinking he had taken a picture. She heard him say he had posted it online but did not believe him. Neither man wore protection.
The girl managed to delete the clip and Atkinson apologised but she went to leave the flat.
He walked her home but she was unable to get into her address until 6am.
Defending Atkinson, Anthony Morris said: “The aggravating feature is this ridiculous decision to film. He still cannot understand why he did it, drink was obviously an issue.”
Defending Ross, Geoff Whelan said he had nothing to do with making or posting the video and “chided” Atkinson when he found out.
Both men sat with their arms folded with a guard between them as Judge Andrew Woolman said: “During the course of the act, for reasons not entirely clear, Atkinson thought it would be amusing to use your phone to film the events taking places.
“It was a brief film but very graphic.
“To make matters worse still you then posted it online and as we all know, what you put on soon can go viral and within a short time 100 people had seen these images, something which no doubt is profoundly disturbing to her and to her parents.
“The two of you may have thought it was not a serious matter if she was willing, but the legislation exists not only to protect girls from older men but also to protect girls from themselves.
“She may have been behaving older than her age but she was still 14.”