A PAEDOPHILE has been jailed for six years for sexually abusing a teenage girl after grooming her for sex on the internet.
Predator Michael Joseph Smith, 46, of Church Road, Hayes, met his 13-year-old victim on a website popular with teenagers and seduced her by buying gifts before sexually abusing the youngster for two years.
Smith pleaded guilty at Harrow Crown Court last Thursday to a total of 26 charges, which included 12 counts of sexual activity with a child under the age of 16 as well as 15 counts of possessing indecent images of children. More than 19,000 indecent pictures of children were found on Smith's computer.
The court heard that the two-year relationship only ended when Smith was arrested on January 24.
The investigation started after the police were following Smith's vehicle for unpaid motoring fines and found the 15 year-old victim sitting in his car with him.
Simon Carr, prosecuting, said: "The victim explained they would either meet in his car late at night or in the very early hours of the morning and that he would take her to a deserted road where he would touch her sexually.
"When this happened she said she would just wish it would be over. She says that she remembers a time when he took her into his car and removed her knickers and then had intercourse with her and that she remembers bleeding and being afraid."
Mr Carr said the victim explained she enjoyed the attention she got from Mr Smith and the money that he would spend on her, but she never wished for the encounters to be sexual.
Mr Smith had also given the victim £20 to buy a webcam which he later asked her to perform sex acts in front of.
Philip Evans, defending, said: "As this is a controversial case it may not be easy to accept that there was sexual encouragement from both sides during the discussions which took place over the internet."
Judge Susan Tapping said: "You would have been aware that the victim was 13 from her profile on the internet and yet you introduced her to sexual activity. She didn't want it and she didn't know how to stop it.
"She says she enjoyed the presents you gave but this is exactly how similar offenders get hold of their victims. You do represent a significant risk of psychological harm to young girls, however a life sentence would not be appropriate."
The court heard that Smith was arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing a girl under 16 when he was living in Ireland in 2002 but he was later released without charge.