Burnley man jailed for sex with teen girl

Sean Devitt (S)
Sean Devitt (S)

A Burnley man who groomed a teenage girl and had repeated sex with her has been jailed for eight years.

Sean Devitt (31), of Booth Court, was sentenced after admitting seven sex offences.

Burnley Crown Court heard Devitt’s relationship with the girl advanced when she felt “flattered by the attention” after feeling unloved.

Miss Louise Kitchin (prosecuting) told the court Devitt gave the girl alcohol and cigarettes and began flirting and kissing before things developed into sex acts.

The court heard Devitt continued the relationship with the girl despite receiving a police caution after he was caught with the girl after a listening device was planted.

Devitt was later arrested and the court heard that, under questioning, he maintained nothing had happened and the incident had been a drunken one-off both regretted. Miss Kitchin told the court Devitt said the relationship between him and the girl was “perfectly proper” and he had acted appropriately.

Devitt pleaded guilty to the offences on the day he was to stand trial.

Mr Tim Storrie (defending) said there had to be a day of reckoning, and this was it. He told the court that, although Devitt’s guilty pleas came late in the day, it stopped the girl from reliving events in the witness box. He added Devitt “should have known better”.

Judge Andrew Woolman told Devitt: “The only mitigating factor is you pleaded guilty, but it takes some bravery for a sexual offender to plead guilty.”

Judge Woolman ordered Devitt to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.