A dangerous sex offender who groomed a young vulnerable girl has been put behind bars for more than two years. 

Allan Wilkinson, 77, admitted paying for the sexual services of a child and making indecent photographs of a child at Chelmsford Crown Court. 

The court heard the harrowing details of how Wilkinson preyed on a 16-year-old girl when he met her online where she had been looking for a household assistant job.

Despite the teenager suffering from mental health issues, which became apparent to Wilkinson, he groomed her into taking part in sexual acts with him in exchange for money and gifts.

The girl routinely told Wilkinson to stop but he continued his predatory behaviour and also coaxed the vulnerable girl into sending him photographs of a sexual nature.

The court heard Wilkinson knew the girl was just 16 and continued his criminal acts.

Wilkinson of Epping New Road, Buckhurst Hill, was jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Following the sentencing investigating Detective Constable Steven Tilley, of Essex Police’s Child Sexual Exploitation team, said: “I would like to pay tribute to the bravery and courage, demonstrated by the victim in this case.

“Wilkinson preyed on this young girl, sexually grooming her in exchange for money. She had trusted him and he so thoroughly abused that trust.

Epping Forest Guardian: Allan Wilkinson was jailed for two and a half yearsAllan Wilkinson was jailed for two and a half years (Image: Essex Police)

“I hope the victim can begin the very slow process of piecing her life back together and I cannot praise her enough in coming forward to help us secure justice and take this sexual predator off of our streets.”

Wilkinson was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for seven years.

Under the terms of his order he must not: have any contact with girls under the age of 18; possess any computer or device with internet access; and must make any device he does possess available for inspection by a police officer upon request.

Essex Police Child Sexual Exploitation Proactive Investigation Team are dedicated and determined to protect young vulnerable people from being subjected to exploitation.

If you would like to report a crime and need our help please call us on 101, submit a report on our website or call 999 in an emergency.