Offender groomed teen on Facebook before sex on Cleethorpes beach
A SEX offender who flattered and groomed a teenage girl before cynically taking advantage of her for his own lust has been jailed for his "thoroughly irresponsible" behaviour.
He and the impressionable girl had unprotected sex on Cleethorpes beach after exchanging sexually-charged messages on Facebook, a court heard.
Ian Gunn, 35, of Kingston View, Barton, admitted sexual activity with a child on July 25 and grooming the girl for sexual purposes between February and July.
David Gordon, prosecuting, told Grimsby Crown Court that Gunn met the 14-year-old girl in Cleethorpes.
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He befriended her, made a flattering comment to her and later asked her to become his friend on Facebook. She accepted and they exchanged saucy messages.
Gunn told her he would like to have sex with her.
"She ignored the messages about sex but she responded with suggestive sexual remarks of her own," said Mr Gordon.
They exchanged photographs of their private parts.
Gunn and the girl met at Cleethorpes Leisure Centre on July 25. They went to the beach and had unprotected sex.
Judge Graham Robinson told Gunn: "It's wholly unacceptable behaviour for a grown man, an adult, to direct towards a child. The legislation exists to protect children from themselves.
"An adult should respect the boundaries imposed by the law and, indeed, by common sense. This was pretty persistent grooming."
He added that it was "thoroughly, thoroughly, thoroughly irresponsible" of Gunn to have unprotected sex with the girl.
"You could easily have made this girl pregnant and blighted her life," said Judge Robinson."
Richard Hackfath, mitigating, said Gunn had three children and his wife was standing by him. He had made frank admissions.
"He realises that his own folly has destroyed his own life and his family's," said Mr Hackfath.
Gunn, who had been in custody for about four months, was jailed for three years and nine months. He was given an indefinite sexual offences prevention order and must register as a sex offender for life.
After the hearing, the girl's father, who was in court, told the Grimsby Telegraph: "To me, justice has been done, but I think he should have got a lot more. It's like a slap on the wrist to me.
"It's just that these people are around and you are not aware of it. She's only 14 years old. She's getting treatment from the school. One minute, she is happy-go-lucky and the next minute she has gone. She clams up a lot.
"It's going to bother her later in life. It's the long-term thing I am worried about, but the school is helping her quite a lot."