Pervert abducted and had sex with South Tyneside girl, 14, he groomed over Snapchat

A pervert who abducted and had sex with a child he had groomed over Snapchat has been put behind bars.

Daniel Potterton made contact with his 14-year-old victim at random over the social media site then travelled 180 miles from his home in Lincolnshire to South Tyneside and had sex with her.

Newcastle Crown Court heard during another trip to the North East he told her he was "going to prison anyway so may as well do it again" and they had sex for a second time.

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Prosecutor Glen Gatland said the "obsessed" teen wanted to go away on a ten day trip with Potterton and even asked her parents for her passport so shecould travel to France with him.

Daniel Potterton.

The court heard the victim's worried mum and dad were forced to report her missing to the police when she met up with Potterton without their permissionand switched off the location settings on her phone.

Her mum said in an impact statement: "I feel broken. All our hearts are broken."

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The court heard during a series of bizarre text messages Potterton, who had bought the child a ring, sent a text to his mother asking if she would "adopt my girlfriend" and confessed she was only 14.

His mum asked him in response: "Do you really want to go to prison?"

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Potterton, 20, Dennis Estate, Boston, Lincolnshire, pleaded gullty to two charges of having sexual activity with a child, one of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, child abduction and meeting a child following sexual grooming.

Judge Christopher Prince sentenced Potterton, who he said is a "high risk of causing serious harm to children", to six years behind bars and said he mustsign the sex offenders register for life.

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Judge Prince told him: "You said you were going to prison anyway so may as well engage in sexual intercourse with her again.

"You made a very, very deliberate decision to ignore what you knew were the legal requirements and to risk the consequences of you engaging in theintercourse with her.

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"You were well aware of what you were doing and the offences you were committing and the risks you were taking."

Steven Reed, defending, said Potterton is of previous good character and added: "Immaturity contributed to the offending".

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Detective Sergeant Jodie Faulkner, of Northumbria Police, said: "This is a very upsetting case that saw Potterton target his underage victim on social media before sexually exploiting her over a number of weeks.

"His behaviour has had a shattering impact on both his victim and her family. I sincerely hope his conviction in court offers them some comfort.

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"As soon as we were made aware of this case, we were determined to get hold of Potterton – who we learnt had been travelling long distances from Lincolnshire over a number of weeks to sexually exploit his victim.

"I would like to thank the victim and her family for their strength and cooperation throughout this case, as well as our Operation Dragoon officers who swiftly acted on our intelligence and were able to intercept Potterton's vehicle as soon as it re-entered our Force area."