A 51-YEAR-OLD man who repeatedly sexually abused a school girl has today been jailed for ten years.

Mark White, of Croppers Hill Court, off Prescot Road, eventually admitted his disgraceful behaviour in text messages – but when interviewed by police he claimed they were just drunken ramblings and pleaded not guilty.

His denials meant his victim, who was 14 and 15 at the time, had to undergo the ordeal of giving evidence to a Liverpool Crown Court jury and she broke down in tears in the public gallery today when he was sentenced.

Judge Robert Warnock told White, who showed no emotion, that he had groomed his victim before sexually assaulting her in increasingly serious ways ending in sexual intercourse.

He had also blackmailed and threatening her.

“You were fully aware throughout the whole of the trial what you had done but you were hoping for some reason the jury would acquit you,” said the judge.

White had been convicted of eight offences of sexual activity with a child and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.

The court heard that the girl told friends about what was happening and social services became involved, but after she was emotionally blackmailed she told social services that she had lied.

White then continued the abuse which then progressed to sexual intercourse, said Cheryl Mottram, prosecuting.

It eventually came to an end and it was some years later that he admitted in text messages what he had done and the police were informed.

In an impact statement the victim told how she wrongly felt it was her fault, saying: “The damage he has caused will not leave me.”

She added that she is now suspicious of other men’s motives and said she has struggled to block out what he had done to her and had tried to harm herself.

Phil Astbury, defending, said that White has been out of trouble for ten years and has no similar convictions.

Substance misuse had been a long term problem for him, he added.