A MAN who had a sexual relationship with a “vulnerable” underage girl despite being warned off by police has been jailed.

Liam Stanley Hunter, 25, knew her real age when he stayed with the girl’s family under a false name and slept with her.

As soon as her parents found out his real name, they drove him to a police station, said Nick Adlington, prosecuting.

In the car, he texted her saying: “Say I had nowhere to go and you told me you turned 16 in April get washed and wash yourself.”

He had Viagra tablets and DNA evidence showed he had had sex with her, Mr Adlington told York Crown Court.

After Hunter was released on bail, the 15-year-old girl went missing and her father found her with Hunter at the local bus station.

Hunter, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual activity with a child and meeting a child following sexual grooming.

He was jailed for three and a half years, made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for six years and put on the sex offenders’ register for life.

The Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris, said it was persistent offending and it was obvious what would have happened but for the girl’s father finding the pair at the bus station.

Mr Adlington said social workers had identified the girl as vulnerable to sexual exploitation when she was 12 or 13 years old. She met Hunter through Facebook last year.

Northumbrian police officers told Hunter her real age when they found her with him in South Shields after she had been missing for four days from her North Yorkshire home in Spring this year.

But he kept in contact with her and stayed at her home in the summer. She had refused to co-operate with police over Hunter’s prosecution.

For Hunter, Denise Breen-Lawton said: “He made a stupid mistake getting involved with this girl and he is never going to repeat that mistake.”

He had panicked in the car en route to the police station.

Since being remanded in custody he had helped other prisoners.