A PUB worker has been jailed for four years after admitting an 18-month sexual relationship with a schoolgirl aged 14.

Craig Pinning was 30 when he started the relationship with the impressionable youngster who said that she loved him after he groomed her with the intention of luring her into “adult relationship.”

Teesside Crown Court heard that she would visit Pinning at his home where they would perform sexual acts before she went on to begin her day at school.

Pinning, now 32, took advantage of the girl in the pub where he worked in Finghall, North Yorkshire, as well as in his car where he was pull over into lay-bys on country roads in the Yorkshire Dales.

Prosecutor Philip Standfast told the court: “For a year and a half they had a sexual rather than a social relationship until she found out that he was sleeping with another female and she decided to tell everyone.”

Mr Standfast said that Pinning had been warned by a friend not to “be stupid” after realising the girl had a crush on him.

George Hazel-Owram, mitigating, said Pinning had quickly confessed once the girl exposed their sexual relationship.

He said: “He reported matters himself. he attended the police station and he confessed to knowing the relationship was wrong.”

He said Pinning was “in a relationship with a woman of his own age” while the 18-month relationship with the girl was going on.”

The defendant, from Pilmoor Close, Richmond, admitted ten offences of sexual activity with a child and two offences of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

Judge Stephen Ashurst said he had groomed the girl by asking her to send explicit photographs and replied with his own.