Facebook photos threat led to arrest of under-age sex man

A MAN who had sex with an underage girl was arrested after he threatened to distribute explicit photographs of her, a court heard.

Jack Houlton, 22, took the images on his mobile phone and told the girl he was going to show them to her schoolfriends and post them on her Facebook site after they split up.

The alarmed 15-year-old went to the police and Houlton was arrested.

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Fiona Swain, prosecuting, said the couple had an eight-month long affair and Houlton knew the girl was under age.

Mrs Swain told the court that Houlton was arrested in May and when asked about the girl by police had described her in “offensive terms”.

The barrister said he was aware that the girl was only 15 and they began having sex soon after going out together.

“The last time they were together they did pretty much every type of sexual activity,” said Mrs Swain. “He knew it was wrong.”

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He told officers he had taken many photos but had only saved two.

He told them he may have shown the pictures to other people but had been on drink and drugs at the time.

The day before he was arrested he admitted telling the girl he was going to post the pictures on her Facebook page but it was only a joke. He had also threatened to walk into her school and scatter the photos about.

Houlton, of Lister Avenue, Rawmarsh, near Rotherham, has previous convictions for possessing an imitation firearm and burglary.

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He has also served four custodial terms. Houlton admitted three offences of sexual activity with a child and one of distributing indecent images.

Dermot Hughes, for Houlton said he had given the police a full account of his relationship with the girl which he said was consensual.

She had never complained about the relationship only his teasing of her by threatening to show off the photos.

He was relatively immature whereas the girl had been involved in sexual activity from the age of 13 and he had accompanied her to the GP to change her contraception. “This was not a new experience for the complainant,” he said.

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He had no intention of distributing the images which were posed at the girl’s initiation. Both sets of parents knew they were having sex and even helped Houlton furnish his flat.

“It was a relationship conducted in the full glare of parental view,” said Mr Hughes. “He thought it was a genuine relationship that could be long-lasting.”

Judge Alan Goldsack sitting at Sheffield Crown Court jailed Houlton for a total of 16 months.

He told him: “You knew perfectly well that having sex with a girl under 16 was against the law. If it be the case that both your parents and her parents were aware of the sexual relationship it does them no credit but does not excuse you from any responsibility for what you did.”

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He said Houlton had been involved in sexual activity with the girl on many occasions. “The law is there to protect young girls from themselves as well as young men,” said the judge.

Mitigating factors were that he was immature for his age, the girl consented and she used contraception.

Judge Goldsack said: “You took photos of her on your phone and it was the fact that she discovered you were thinking of distributing them on her Facebook or to schoolfriends that caused her to put the matter in the hands of the police indicating perhaps where her priorities lie.”

As well as the jail term, Houlton was given a Sex Offenders Prevention Order not to contact the girl.