AN ATHERTON dad, who had sex with a schooolgirl less than half his age, has been jailed for seven years.
David Collier, who had been convicted of raping the 13-year-old by a jury, shook his head in the dock as he was sentenced.
During his trial Liverpool Crown Court heard that 31-year-old Collier met the girl early last year 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, said Graham Pickavance, prosecuting.
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.
The court that 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, of Mealhouse Lane, Atherton, was quizzed by police in November and denied the allegations.
Collier told the jury that he had stopped contact with the girl after her mother asked him to do so and they did not have a sexual relationship.
Mr Pickavance said today that it was clear that he had been using the internet to get her to come from her parents’ control and had been encouraging her to sneak out of the house.
Geoff Whelan, defending, said that Collier still denies the offence.
He said he was the loving father of a three-year-old girl and although he has previous convictions they were for motoring offences.
“He is well respected by family members and others in the community and people have been shocked at the outcome,” said Mr Whelan, who produced a sheaf of references for the judge to read.
Judge Adrian Lyon jailed Collier and ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and made a Sexual Offences Prevention Order restricting his internet use and banning him from working with children or being alone with under 16-year-olds.