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A trainee chef who repeatedly met an underage girl after graphic online chats with her has been jailed for six years.
Christopher Paylor, 25, started communicating with the teenage girl via social media and sent her explicit messages, undeterred by her age.
It began with the girl posting a message saying she wanted “someone to flirt with, no strings attached”, Teesside Crown Court heard.
“He replied ‘flirt away’,” said prosecutor Shaun Dodds today.
“Messaging became sexual almost immediately.”
Paylor persistently asked for pictures of her and she obliged, ultimately sending a naked photo after he said he was “hoping for less clothing”.
On his suggestion they met in Middlesbrough, where he studied at Teesside University, and he drove her to his home.
They had sex on their first meeting and numerous occasions.
He continued sending graphic messages and making sexual suggestions to the vulnerable girl.
‘She quickly told him her true age’
He knew she was underage and that she had already been sexually assaulted by someone else, the court was told.
He correctly told the girl he was 22 when they first chatted via social media apps in 2015.
At first she said she was slightly older than she was, though still underage.
Mr Dodds said: “She quickly told him her true age… before they actually met. He said he didn’t mind.
“Sometimes the age gap would be mentioned. She said it felt a bit weird. She told him that but he said he didn’t want to talk about it.
“He sometimes would ask her to call him ‘daddy’.”
‘Knew it was wrong but got caught up in the moment’
She broke off contact when she found he had been messaging another girl who was abroad.
The crimes came to light when Paylor was arrested and his phone was analysed over “another matter”.
Paylor told police he knew it was wrong in law but he “got caught up in the moment”.
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said in a statement she was very young and naive at the time.
She said: “I feel that Chris took advantage of me. I accept my attitude at the time did me no favours.”
But she said she was underage, he was an adult several years older than her and “he should have known better”.
‘I’ve now realised what happened was completely wrong’
“Since this all came to light I’ve now realised what happened was completely wrong,” she added.
Paylor, of Cliff Terrace, Saltburn, admitted three charges of sexual activity with a child – his first conviction.
Judge Sean Morris told Paylor: “The minute you realised that female was underage, you should have stopped then and there.
“She was a child. Girls of that age might appear more mature-looking that they are, but they’re not. Mentally they’re still children.
“She was young and naive and vulnerable.
‘She’s not in any way to blame’
“It’s taken her a long time to realise that actually what happened was wrong because she was so young at the time.
“And she’s not in any way to blame.
“However you admitted what you had done. You’ve pleaded guilty. I’m obliged to give you full credit for that. But this is regular and repeated sex.”
Paylor was jailed for six years, given a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and will be on the sex offenders’ register for life.