A MAN who raped a schoolgirl was locked up for more than ten years as a judge told of how the law needs to protect some teenagers from themselves.

The victim did not want sex to take place the first time it did, and sobbed and covered her face as Arron Richardson forced himself upon her.

A court heard that she was happy to kiss the 20-year-old, but when she told him not to touch her intimately, he replied: "You can't stop me now."

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On other occasions, she acquiesced rather than consented as Richardson put pressure on her, Judge Howard Crowson ruled at Teesside Crown Court.

Richardson, of Willowgarth, Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, admitted rape and sexual activity with a child, and was jailed for ten-and-a-half years.

Prosecutor Oliver Thorne told the court that in interview, he initially denied anything sexual had taken place, but later, in a defence statement for the court, he said the girl had instigated it.

Judge Crowson was told how when he was just 15, Richardson was given a referral order for two charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Graham Silvester, mitigating, said although the defendant was 21, he appeared much younger, had dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

"He knows the offending was wrong," Mr Silvester told the court. "Albeit he knew her age, there was an element of consensual agreement with the kissing.

"It is the next stage on which puts him where he is . . . I concede at the outset that this will be a difficult case in terms of how he is sentenced."

Judge Crowson told Richardson, who was also put on the sex offenders' register for life: "She may have been flattered by attention in the first instance.

"Sadly, it is all too common a case in these courts where we see a girl who believes they are more mature than they are, which is why we have to protect them.

"They are persuaded they are loved in some way, but loved for all the wrong reasons."