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Jail for pervert who groomed Burnley schoolgirl over internet
A ‘PREDATORY’ paedophile who groomed, abducted and repeatedly had sex with a Burnley schoolgirl has been locked up for five years.
The town’s crown court heard Sydney Topping, 26, first got in contact with the vulnerable girl teenager through a PlayStation interactive game.
They also chatted on Facebook before they met and had intercourse.
She had made her age clear, but Topping, who asked her to send him intimate pictures, later lied to the police and told them he thought she was 16.
Topping had targeted the girl, who was receiving threats from someone else over the internet and was frightened.
He twice took her to his home town of Widnes, where on one occasion, they had two sex sessions at his friends’ houses. The hearing was told the defendant was cautioned in 2010 for sexual activity with a female child – of a similar age to the latest victim – and then failed to comply with the notification requirements of the sex offenders register.
The defendant was ordered to sign the register indefinitely and was given a sexual offences prevention order, until further order.
He was banned from having unsupervised contact with any female under 16 and the order allows police to monitor his internet use. Topping, of Lodge Road, had earlier admitted meeting a child following sexual grooming, abduction and three charges of sexual activity with a child.
Sara Dodd, prosecuting, said the girl told Topping over the internet she was at school and was a virgin.
In messages he sent the teenager, the defendant repeatedly talked about having sex and coming to Lancashire for that purpose.
She expressed affection for him and he told her he loved her. She asked at one point if they were ‘together’ and Topping said yes.
Philip Holden, defending, said Topping had limited social skills, was poorly educated and presented as being immature for his age.
The barrister said: "There was no coercion or threats. It’s something he very much regrets.”
Judge Jonathan Gibson told Topping: “What you did took a significant degree of planning.
“There is a concerning element of predatory behaviour. Clearly, you were seeking young girls over the internet and grooming them.”
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