Lincoln man, 50, had sex with vulnerable child after grooming her online

A 50-year-old man had sex with a vulnerable girl after grooming her over the internet, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Martyn Cairns initially acted as “a shoulder to cry on” for the teenager and during internet chats they began swapping photographs.

Gareth Gimson, prosecuting, said “It began with images of her face and then in her underwear before progressing to fully naked photographs. Cairns was sending pictures of his penis to her.”

Cairns arranged to meet the girl at Sheffield Ice Rink and they later met at her home in the city.

Mr Gimson said: “Initially they were holding hands and sharing a hug. She met the defendant five times without her mother’s knowledge.

“She then told her mother about him and said she thought she was in love.

“Her mother thought he was helping her to deal with her self-harming issues.

“He would visit her three times a month. He provided the family with a washing machine and would give them money.”

Mr Gimson said that Cairns began to sexually abuse the girl when she was 14 and they went on to have sex on three occasions.

The offences remained undetected until Cairns was arrested for grooming what he believed to be a 13-year-old girl called Chelsea using the Kick messenger app.

Cairns began to make sexual comments to “Chelsea” and told her he was “kind of falling for her”.

He went on to send a photograph of his penis and a video of himself masturbating.

He told her “you’re always welcome in my bed” and on another occasion said to her “I’ve found my princess. You’re gorgeous.”

But “Chelsea” was actually an undercover police officer and as a result of the conversations Cairns was arrested.

Cairns, 50, of Newark Road, Lincoln, admitted five charges of sexual activity with a child relating to the Sheffield victim.

He also admitted attempting to incite a girl aged under 16 to engage in sexual activity as a result of his contact with “Chelsea”.

Cairns was jailed for 56 months and placed on the sex offenders’ register for life. He was also given a 10 year sexual harm prevention order.

Recorder Paul Mann QC, passing sentence, said the girl whom Cairns abused had been seriously affected by what happened.

“She totally trusted you. She now feels emotionally paralysed.”

Michael Cranmer-Brown, in mitigation, said that Cairns had not set out to seduce the teenager.

“He befriended her. He was lonely, living on his own having separated from his partner.

“He was immature. They met and behaved like a young teenage couple. They would walk in the park holding hands and cuddling.

“He would say he fell in love with her, bizarre though that may be. As far as he was concerned they were engaged and her mother knew all about it.”