After being invited to stay at a couple’s home following a function at a social club, a man betrayed their trust by having sex with their 15-year-old daughter.
It came to light after the girl then used her mother’s phone to exchange Facebook messages with John Forsyth as he tried to encourage her to take part in further sexual activity with him.
And at Warwick Crown Court, Forsyth, 52, formerly of Rugby Road, Binley Woods, was jailed for 28 months and ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years.
Forsyth had pleaded guilty to causing or inciting a child to take part in sexual activity in January and two charges of sexual activity with a child.
Prosecutor Jane Sarginson said the girl and her family had gone to a function at a Nuneaton social club which Forsyth also attended.
During the evening there was a conversation between her father and other people, including Forsyth, during which he spoke of her age – so Forsyth was well aware she was under 16.
At the end of the evening Forsyth virtually invited himself along when the family went home.
It was agreed that because he lived some distance away Forsyth could stay the night, sleeping on the sofa.
After spending some time socialising further in the living room, other members of the girl’s family went to bed, leaving her and Forsyth downstairs.
As they sat on the sofa Forsyth put his hand on her stomach and kissed her, at which she responded: “No; this is really bad.”
They talked about what he had done, with the girl pointing out he had a son of her age, and Forsyth said he knew it was bad, adding: “I knew this would happen.”
But he kissed her again, and the pair carried out sexual activity.
The girl decided she needed time to think and went to the bathroom, after which she said she was going to bed.
But he told her ‘no you’re not,’ and pulled her down before having intercourse with her, without using any protection.
Afterwards, Forsyth told her not to worry because he had had a vasectomy. But the next day she was concerned she might be pregnant, and used her mother’s phone to contact him via Facebook.
He asked her if she wanted to meet him, saying it would be nice to do it again – and her mother later found the messages on her phone, as a result of which the police were contacted.
When Forsyth, now of Edward Road, Bedworth, was arrested he accepted sexual activity had taken place, but did not accept he knew she was under 16.
Sally Hancox, defending, conceded: “Penetrative offences of this nature, even when consensual, are usually met by custody.
“He seeks no excuse. He was drunk, and there was an element of loneliness in his life at that time. He has been married, with three children, but the marriage has fallen apart.”
She said Forsyth, who had only been released from the George Eliot hospital for a drink-related condition three days before the hearing, is said to be at low risk of re-offending.
And she added: “This is a man who is full of remorse, appalled by his idiocy and the consequences of it. He took advantage of an opportunity he saw as being presented to him.”
Jailing Forsyth, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones told him: “When you went back to their home that night you were being given hospitality and shelter by the family.
“They thought they could trust you, and the mother and father went to bed, leaving you downstairs with their child.
“Although her actions were that of a willing person, this law is there to protect children against being prevailed upon by older men to make a misjudgement.
“You then had sustained sexual activity with her which included intercourse.”