A 44-year old Scarborough man woke up behind bars today after he admitted having sex with an under-age girl on at least six occasions.
Robert Anthony Bayne, 44, of Eastborough appeared at York Crown Court on Tuesday when Mr Recorder Macdonald QC sentenced him to five years behind bars for a series of sex acts which left the victim’s life in tatters.
Bayne admitted three counts of sexual activity with a child over a two-month period starting in October 11.
The Crown Prosecution Service claimed he had sex with the victim on numerous occasions and charged him with specimen counts in connection with other alleged sexual offences against her.
But, following his arrest last summer, Bayne told police he had consensual sex with the girl on five or six occasions at a flat in Scarborough. Mr Macdonald QC agreed to sentence him on this basis of plea.
Prosecuting barrister Michael Collins said the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, did not report the matter to police until August last year, nearly four years after the offences took place. She finally decided to act after telling her boyfriend about what Bayne had done to her.
Her boyfriend had twigged that something was wrong because she was having nightmares and pushing him away in her sleep, added the prosecutor.
He said Bayne and the girl had initially made contact on Facebook. On the first occasion that Bayne initiated sex, he persisted despite the victim telling him to stop.
“She froze and neither encouraged or discouraged the activity,” said Mr Collins. “She felt frightened; she didn’t want to tell anyone. He (Bayne) had told her not to tell anyone because it would ruin his life and that people would blame her.”
In a victim-impact statement read out in court, the girl said she had kept quiet for so long because she feared people would see her in a different way. She was also fearful of “reliving” her ordeal by giving police statements.
She said Bayne’s abuse had made her feel “worthless, disgusting and dirty”, and it had affected her relationships.
“I never feel I can truly trust (men) and I struggle in male company because of what happened when I was younger,” she added.
The court heard that Bayne, a jobless former heroin addict, had 50 previous convictions for 122 offences, including having sex with an under-age girl in 1993, when he was 21. He also had court raps for fraud, theft, firearms offences, public disorder and drug matters, and had served previous time in prison.
Defence barrister Andrew Semple said Bayne was drinking a lot at the time of the sex offences and was now “horrified” at what he had done.
Mr Recorder Macdonald said Bayne had taken “gross advantage” of the girl, who was described as vulnerable and emotionally fragile due to her difficult upbringing.
“This was selfish abuse,” added Mr Macdonald. “You made threats to her to ensure her silence and you were successful in that for a number of years.”
In addition to the five-year jail sentence, Mr Macdonald ordered Bayne to sign on the sex-offenders’ register and pay a victim surcharge.