Relationship led to child sex offences

Christopher Lowde, of Beverely Road, Driffield, jailed for 21 months for two offences of having sex with a girl under 16.
Christopher Lowde, of Beverely Road, Driffield, jailed for 21 months for two offences of having sex with a girl under 16.

A Driffield man has been jailed for a three-month relationship with a 13-year-old girl he met in a Bridlington nightclub.

Christopher Lowde, 20, used the girl for sex - twice risking pregnancy - despite knowing she was 13 and taking her for a number of sexual encounters by the sea.

They communicated over the mobile app Snapchat before they would go off in his car for sex. But the romance soon floundered when he didn’t return her text messages when he thought she might be pregnant.

Lowde, of Beverley Road, Driffield, appeared at Hull Crown Court for sentence (April 6) after pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual activity with a child.

“They met and started exchange messages via Snapchat,” said Crown barrister David Gordon.

“Christopher Lowde said he fancied her. He said they went on a date to a nightclub and out in his car to the beach where he asked her for sex. He said the first time they had sex he knew she was 13.”

Mr Gordon said they would regularly meet for sex in a car park on the Carnaby Industrial Estate.

The girl told her school’s child protection co-ordinator. “The whole thing made her feel really upset,” said Mr Gordon. “Looking back she felt violated. She thought he had been using her for sex.”

Lowde was arrested in July last year and said he thought she was 15. “He said he had sex with her, knowing she was underage,” said Mr Gordon. “He said they had sex on three to five occasions, always consensual.”

Defence barrister Paul Genney said the pair had met through a mutual interest in music at a nightclub. He said because she was on licensed premises he thought she was 15. He said although he was dyslexic he was trying to make something of himself and trained as a HGV driver.

Jailing Lowde for 21 months, sentencing Judge Kate Buckingham said he used the girl for his own gratification. “These are offence are so serious only a custodial sentence can be justified.”

The defence have since lodged an appeal against the sentence given to Lowde.