A WIGAN man cleared of raping a young schoolgirl has been found guilty of sexually abusing her.
Jordan Gould-Martin, 21, was jailed for 18 months after being convicted of sexual activity with the 13-year-old.
Gould-Martin began chatting to the girl and her friend, both in their school uniforms, after they made a complimentary comment as he rode by on his bicycle.
He invited them both back to his home and while there he sexually molested one of them.
Sentencing him Judge Robert Trevor-Jones said that the girl had told him her age and he taken advantage of her naivety and immaturity. He said: “She was excited and flattered by the attention of a older person” and he had sexual activity with her “despite barely knowing her”.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that the victim’s schooling was adversely affected because of gossip and spurious allegations about what had happened.
Gould-Martin, of Hey Street, Springfield, was convicted of sexual activity after a trial, but was cleared on the judge’s directions of raping her and the jury found him not guilty of two other offences of sexual activity with her. Gould-Martin admitted sexually touching the girl but denied knowing that she was under-age.
Geoffrey Whelan, defending, pointed out that the incident occurred two years ago and the defendant has no previous convictions for sex offences. He has suffered from depression from the age of 11 and since the offence his partner died in his arms after taking an overdose and his brother died aged 19 while serving in Afghanistan.
He began taking cannabis and cocaine but has since given this up though still has problems with alcohol, said Mr Whelan.
He added that Gould-Martin has three children but he is not allowed to see them.
The judge imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for life banning him from contact with under 16-year-old girls and ordered him to sign on the Sexual Offences Register for 10 years.