Leeds dad jailed over secret sexual affair with 15-year-old girl
A DAD has been locked up for three years for conducting a secret sexual affair with a 15-year-old girl.
Ben Inwood was arrested after his long-term partner saw sexual messages from the girl on his mobile phone and contacted police
Leeds Crown Court heard 32-year-old Inwood damaged his mobile phone in a bid to hide evidence.
He later handed himself in to police and admitted to having sex with the teenager on multiple occasions.
Michael Smith, prosecuting, told the court that the offending took place between January and November 2017.
The father-of-two's partner contacted police in November 2017 after confronting him over messages she found on his mobile phone.
Inwood damaged the phone but it was later handed over to police.
Sexual text messages were found between Inwood and the girl and an image was recovered of the teenager in her underwear.
The girl also admitted that she had been having sex with Inwood for some time.
Inwood told officers in interview that he also had sex with the girl at his then home in Leeds.
Inwood, now of Bardrochat View, South Ayrshire, Scotland, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual activity with a child.
Mr Smith said they represented multiple occasions in which Inwood had sex with the teenager.
Joanna Shepherd, mitigating, said Inwood had no previous convictions and admitted the offences at an early stage.
She said Inwood worked as a farmer and committed the offences when he was under stress from working around 100 hours a week.
Miss Shepherd said Inwood was still supported by his partner he had moved with his family to Scotland
Sentencing, Judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: "The reality is that you did not cease this behaviour of your own volition.
"It only came to an end when your partner found these sexual messages on your phone.
"The likelihood is that it would have carried on.
"You damaged your phone and destroyed it do doubt fearing that messages would be discovered."
The Judge added: "Inevitably I have a public duty, and it gives me no pleasure, but the courts have a duty to protect 15-year-old girls, even from themselves.
"This was a persistent course of conduct over a period of months."