A mascot for the England rugby league team has been jailed for having sex with a schoolgirl while he was working as a maths tutor.
Robert Dillon, 26, was given a 12-month sentence after a court heard he abused the trust placed in him by the 16-year-old victim while working at a West Yorkshire school.
Leeds Crown Court heard Dillon has been a mascot for the England rugby league team as well as for Castleford Tigers but would now be unable to do so because of the offending.
His teaching career is also in ruins as he had been banned from working with young children.
Dillon, of Lower Oxford Street, Castleford, pleaded guilty to abuse of position and sexual activity with a female aged 13 to 17.
He carried out the offence while working as a maths mentor for teenagers at the school.
Jeremy Hill-Baker, prosecuting, said Dillon met the girl in Holmfirth on July 6 last year and they watched the Tour de France cyclists pass through the town.
He then drove the youngster back to his home and had consensual sex with her.
The court heard, had sex taken place 12 days later, Dillon would not have been committing an offence as the girl had completed her GCSE exams, the academic year would have been over and she would not have been registered as a pupil.
She was still classed as being in the care of the school at the time they had sex.
Jailing Dillon, judge Rodney Jameson, QC, said the date and timing of the offence was not a mitigating factor.
He said: “This is a case of a man allowing himself to indulge the worst side of his nature at the expense of a young and vulnerable girl to whom he had a duty of care.
“That was frankly a wicked thing to do and I cannot in those circumstances see proper grounds for suspending the sentence.”
The court heard Dillon was interviewed by his superiors after rumours began to circulate within school in the days after the incident.
Dillon lied and claimed nothing had happened between them. He then sent the girl text messages instructing her to tells lies about their meeting in order to protect himself.
After he was arrested he told police that the relationship with the youngster meant nothing to him and he had sex with her at a time when he was struggling to cope with splitting up from his long-term girlfriend.
The judge added: “He was toying with this child’s affections in a way that was unconscionable.”
Allan Armbrister, mitigating, said Dillon had lost his work as a mascot for the England and Castleford teams. He handed the judge a letter reference from an unnamed Super League player speaking of Dillon’s previous good character.
Mr Armbrister said the victim had no plans to return to the school after the holiday so the abuse could not have continued.
The barrister added that Dillon was now re-united with his long term girlfriend and also had the support of his mother, who also works a teacher.