Sunderland pervert asked Hartlepool teenager for sex act over Facebook

The rapist, and the victim's father, both appeared at Newcastle Crown Court.
The rapist, and the victim's father, both appeared at Newcastle Crown Court.
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A 29-year-old man befriended a teenage girl and sent her sexual Facebook messages despite being warned off by police.

Philip Gainford, from Sunderland, was seen meeting his victim, who is from Hartlepool.

Adrian Dent told Teesside Crown Court that led to complaints, and added: “As a result of those complaints, Gainford was sent a warning letter, telling him the friendship was not appropriate.

“He later sent the girl a series of sexually-orientated messages via Facebook, urging her to perform a sexual act.

“The girl declined to assist the police in their investigation.”

Gainford, of Dellfield Drive, Pennywell, admitted four charges of inciting a child to commit a sexual act.

He was of previous good character.

Stephen Constantine, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Gainford has severe learning difficulties.

“The psychiatric report suggests he may have problems understanding the social consequences of his actions.

“Equally, he may not have grasped the serious nature of the warning letter he received. He has been on remand for six months, so has served the equivalent of a one-year sentence.”

Judge Sean Morris sentenced Gainford to 16 months in prison, suspended for two years, and a supervision order for two years. Gainford was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order limiting his contact with children for five years.

He must register as a sex offender for 10 years.