A PERVERT has been jailed for five years for a sex assault on a girl less than half his age.
But, unusually, David Collier walked free from court as he has already served longer than he would be behind bars following an earlier trial involving the same incident.
You groomed her, you seduced her, to use an old fashioned term, and she was naive and she fell for you.Judge Andrew Hatton
He was jailed for seven years in 2011 for raping the 13-year-old girl but, after serving 31 months, he was released after the Court of Appeal declared they were “unhappy with legal directions in the summing-up and ordered a re-trial.”
A retrial was held in January this year but, after that jury could not agree a verdict, another re-trial was held and that has now concluded.
The 35-year-old was cleared of the rape but convicted of a lesser alternative charge of sexual activity with a child involving sexual intercourse.
Sentencing Collier, of Mealhouse Lane, Atherton, Judge Andrew Hatton said: “You groomed her, you seduced her, to use an old fashioned term, and she was naive and she fell for you.
“There were meetings and at some she was accompanied by her friend but at other meetings she was alone and at one of those meetings sexual intercourse took place.
“There may have been sexual activity at other meetings but she is unclear about that. You went out of your way to make sure you would meet this girl alone,” he added.
As Collier would only spend half the five-year term behind bars and has already served more than that the judge ordered that he be taken down to the cells and “once the calculations are done you will be released.”
During the trial Graham Pickavance, prosecuting, said that Collier met the girl in 2010 and they began communicating on the internet via Facebook.Her mother saw the messages of her daughter’s laptop and considering that they were more than just messages of friendship she contacted him telling him her daughter was only 13.
Collier said he would delete the contact but he did not do so.
They began meeting, sometimes with her friend, and as well as trips in his car she also went to his home.
While there he began touching her sexually and went on to ask her for sex.
She wanted to go home but he told her to make herself comfortable on his bed and they had sexual intercourse.
At a later stage she told her friend what had happened and eventually, after the friend told a relative, the girl’s mother was also informed.
Collier, who is on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life, denied the allegations and maintained he had stopped contact with the girl after her mother asked him to do so and they did not have a sexual relationship.