Man, 64, jailed for grooming girl

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The Independent Online

A 64-year-old man was jailed for five years today for grooming and sexually exploiting a 13-year-old girl.

Stephen Mitchell, an electrician, of Southwark, south London, pleaded guilty to five offences including making indecent photographs and sexual activity with a child.

The Old Bailey heard that Mitchell offered to give the girl maths lessons while in the company of her father when she was 11.

But he had gone on to groom her through Facebook and text messages and made her dependent on him by giving her money.

Some 1,400 messages of an increasingly explicit nature had been exchanged between them in the few months before her father found some on her mobile phone this year.

Judge Anthony Morris said the child had been vulnerable and it was now stated that her life may never be normal as she struggled to cope.

He told Mitchell: "You abused that trust and used the opportunity to start grooming her."