Four years in jail for Leeds man who had sex with girl, 13

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A Leeds man who had sex with a 13-year-old girl on repeated occasions over a period of six months has been sent to prison.

Julian Manners, 27, was given a four-year sentence after pleading guilty to five offences of sexual activity with a child.

Two 17-year-old males, who cannot be named, were given community punishment after they also pleaded guilty to sex offences against the same victim.

Leeds Crown Court heard Manners, of Hillcrest Avenue, Chapeltown, Leeds, met the girl through one of the teenagers and would have sex with her at his home.

Lawyers for the three defendants said they had pleaded guilty to the offences on the basis that they thought the victim was 15 at the time of the offences as she looked older.

The court heard the girl had consented to sexual activity and had not been forced or threatened by any of them.

One youth, who has spent five months in custody on remand since his arrest, pleaded guilty to six offences of sexual activity with a child and the other a single offence of sexual activity with a child. They were both given two-year youth rehabilitation and supervision orders. One was also given a six-month curfew order between the hours of 7pm and 7am each day.

Judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: “Everyone must understand that the courts have a duty to protect those under age - even from themselves.”

He told Manners: “You thought she was 15. You were almost twice her age and you bear heavy and considerable culpability for the offences you committed.

“I accept there was no coercion or filming or joint offending.

“But you must have known what you were doing was seriously wrong.

“It was not an isolated incident and it was over a period of time.”

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