Six years jail for Hartlepool man over underage sex with teen

Wayne Wright.
Wayne Wright.

A man has been jailed after having underage sex with a teenage girl and even asking her to dress in her school uniform.

Wayne Wright was jailed for six years for having sex with the teenager, and for making her send him semi-naked photographs of herself.

The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

Wright, 24, was charged with a string of sex offences after his victim contacted the police.

A jury at his trial last month heard Wright had sex with the girl several times, including on one occasion when he asked her to dress in her school uniform.

Wright, who was 20 at the time of the offences, denied all wrongdoing, claiming at first he did not know the girl, but then admitting he did know her after police pointed out the thousands of messages from her on his phone.

Wright changed his story again to say he knew her but sex had not taken place, and changed it again when he said sex had taken place but he thought the girl was over 16.

Lisa McCormick, defending, put it to the victim she had only made the complaint to 'get at' Wright after he had become involved in a dispute.

The girl conceded she had made the complaint to police shortly after the dispute, but she insisted sex had taken place with Wright when she was underage.

Wright, of Inverness Road, Hartlepool, denied five charges of sexual activity with a child, and one charge of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He was convicted of all charges by the jury after a trial lasting two days.

Ms McCormick said in mitigation: "There was an age difference between the two parties, but not as great as one sometimes sees.

"This is not a case of a man in his 50s or older targeting a young girl.

"The relationship was over a relatively short period.

"No grooming took place in the sense there was no plying with alcohol nor threats to keep quiet.

"Mr Wright has a partner and a child, and he hopes to resume some sort of relationship with them on his release from prison."

Judge Howard Crowson sentenced Wright to six years in prison, and made him the subject of an order banning unsupervised contact with children for 10 years.

The judge told Wright: "The law is there to protect young girls from predators such as you.

"There was grooming to some degree which culminated in sexual intercourse on more than one occasion.

"The age difference was not insignificant, as illustrated by you requesting her to wear her school uniform.

"Your criminal record is a bad one, although I accept these are your first sexual offences."

Wright must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.