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Pervert jailed for robbing child of 13 of her innocence; IN BRIEF.

A PERVERT tried to cover up his illegal sexual relationship with a schoolgirl by using a fake Facebook account as a smokescreen.

Thomas Stephenson Wade was 30 when he began to have sexual activity with the 13-year-old after grooming her with gifts and flirtatious text messages.

A court heard he ignored warnings to distance himself and a judge said he had taken away her innocence.

He set up a Facebook profile using a fake name to make it look like the girl had a boyfriend, to try to divert attention.

Now Stephenson Wade, who was convicted of five specimen charges of sexual activity with a child, has been jailed for six-and-a-half years at Newcastle Crown Court.

Judge Tim Gittins told him: "Your behaviour began, sadly as so often it does, with you grooming her.

"You were giving her gifts, cigarettes, occasionally money.

"She was vulnerable at that point in her life and I've no doubt, as a young girl aged 13 to 14, she was flattered by flirting texts and the affection you purported to give."

The court heard sexual activity began when she was 13 and there were multiple incidents.

Judge Gittins said: "What's clear from her mother's account is your closeness to her and her crush on you and you buying her gifts as well as day to day items she needed, had at an early stage been noted by others and you had been warned at various times to distance yourself from her. You ignored such warnings.

"You went as far as to create a smokescreen for her in the form of a Facebook account in a false name so she could pretend to have a boyfriend from the next village to divert attention away from how close the two of you had got.

"You took advantage of her early teens and took away from her that being a period of innocence."

Stephenson Wade, 37, of Kirkwood Drive, Kenton, Newcastle, who continues to protest his innocence, was convicted by a jury.

As well as prison, he must sign the sex offenders' register for life and was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for ten years.

Gavin Doig, defending, said: "He continues to deny the offences. He has always worked hard."

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 22, 2016
Words:375
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