A man who sexually touched a girl has been jailed for two years.
Stephen Baldwin, 61, caused ‘significant psychological impact’ to his victim, Burnley Crown Court heard.
Baldwin, of Worston Lane, Great Harwood, sexually touched the young girl for what she said ‘felt like ages’ and smelled her hair and kissed her head, the court heard.
Baldwin pleaded guilty to sexually touching a child and was jailed for two years.
Recorder Philip Grundy told him: “It’s clear to those around you that you were perceived as a reliable, honest and straight forward individual.
“You are no longer able to hold your head high as a result of that.”
David Clarke, prosecuting, told the court the incident happened after he told the victim he wanted to ‘have a cuddle’.
He said ‘things took a more serious turn’ when Baldwin starting sexually touching her ‘as if he was searching for something’.
Mr Clarke said the victim was ‘scared and didn’t say anything’ and afterwards sent a text message to a friend saying: “I don’t know what to do.
“He keeps kissing me and touching me.
“I don’t want to tell anyone because it would sound weird.”
The court heard how Baldwin’s phone was analysed by police and found text messages to the victim saying he ‘needed a hug’ and others suggesting a ‘Skype conversation’.
A victim personal statement read out in court told how the victim was left ‘angry and frustrated’ and ‘really upset and stressed’.
Mr Clarke added that police later found legal pornographic images on his laptop which he claimed showed Baldwin’s ‘preference for girls aged 18 to 20’.
Anthony Cross QC, defending, said there was a ‘gross disparity in age’ with the victim and he had caused her ‘lasting harm of a serious kind’.
He told the court how Baldwin had no previous convictions, was a man of ‘good character’, had ‘demonstrated remorse and acknowledged his guilt’.
Recorder Grundy said it was ‘distressing’ to see the ‘significant psychological impact’ on the victim.
He said: “The incident itself was not one that was over in a flash but took some time.”
Referring to the text messages with the victim he said: “The language used by you was more juvenile than one would expect from a man of your age.”