A RETAIL worker who videoed himself having unprotected sex with a 13-year-old girl and abusing her has been jailed for six years.

Craig Spencer Wilkinson, 32, struck up a friendship with the girl over the internet, met her when she travelled to York Station and twice took her to a hotel to sexually abuse her, York Crown Court heard. Altogether they met five times.

Matthew Bean, prosecuting, said the girl had since tried to kill herself and self-harmed and had had to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act for a time. She was still infatuated with Wilkinson.

Recorder Bernard Gateshill said: “This is an extraordinary case. Either she has been disturbed by your behaviour towards her, or alternatively you took advantage of her disturbed state of mind.”

As well as jailing Wilkinson, formerly of Scarborough, for six years, the judge banned him indefinitely from having contact with any child, unless with the specific approval of social services, or working with children. He also placed him on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Det Sgt Sarah Bestington, of the York Protecting Vulnerable Person’s Unit, said: “It is pleasing that Craig Wilkinson has owned up to his offences which have no place in today’s society.

“Although he knew he was breaking the law by taking advantage of an underage girl, he continued to commit his sick crimes.

“Hopefully, prison will give him plenty of time to reflect on his actions and realise that what he has done is completely unacceptable.”

Wilkinson pleaded guilty to two offences of grooming girls for sex, two of having sexual activity with a girl, three of having indecent photographs and videos of girls and one of having an indecent photograph of a boy.

Mr Bean said police found the photos and the videos Wilkinson made of the sexual abuse on his mobile phone.

They also found he had sent her 2,806 text messages between January and April this year and she had sent more than 3,000 back. Many of them were sexually explicit and she clearly told him her age.

Between June 2011 and March 2012, he exchanged similar text messages with another 13-year-old girl and met her in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, and in a cinema. But they did not have sex.

Defence solicitor Kevin Blount said Wilkinson insisted that he was not sexually attracted to children. He was only looking for companionship after the break-up of a long-term relationship and the girls had wanted to have a sexual relationship with him. He had been at a low point in his life and suffering from depression at the time.

The judge said Wilkinson was in denial about his actions and was a risk to children in future. Mr Blount said the indecent photograph of a boy had been sent to Wilkinson and he had forgotten to delete it.