A MAN who defied an official warning not to have any contact with a 15-year-old girl has been jailed.
A court heard that Sean Collings spent the night with her at a Blackburn hotel, where they drank and watched TV.
The next morning the girl returned to her children’s home of her own volition, having gone miss- ing the night before.
She was spoken to by officers from the Engage team in the Blackburn area. She told police in an interview that she and Collings had met for the first time around a week earlier, after having begun chatting over Facebook.
She said sex had taken place between them on the earlier occasion, with the girl having said she was over 16.
But nothing sexual happened the time they ended up spend-ing a night at the hotel, Preston Crown Court was told.
Collings, 22, of Pendleton Road, Wiswell, Whalley, was senten-ced to 12 months in jail, having admitted an offence of child abduction. At an earlier court hearing, his not guilty plea to an allegation of committing an offence with intent to commit a sexual offence was accepted by the prosecution.
Emma Kehoe, prosecuting, said there had been a crash in early October, while the girl was driving the defendant’s car.
He was arrested and reported for driving matters.
Collings was served with a statutory notice, instructing him not to have anything to do with her because of her age.
The following week there were concerns at the girl’s children’s home that she had disappeared and had gone to meet the defendant.
Operation Engage officers spoke to the girl when she ret-urned to the home of her own volition the next morning. She disclosed she had been with Collings the previous evening.
She also said they had met up for the first time the previous week. The defendant had check-ed into a Blackburn hotel, where they drank alcohol, watched TV and popped out a few hours later to buy more alcopops.
She spoke of Collings falling asleep. She stayed awake and listened to music.
Bob Elias, defending, said the criminality of the offence was in Collings defying well-meaning attempts by the police to warn him off, as an attachment had been seen between the defend-ant and the girl. Collings had ignored that.
He said: “He is younger than his age, in terms of emotional maturity. He was out of his depth and made a stupid mistake with this girl.”