An Army sergeant who smuggled a 13-year-old girl into his barrack room for sex was jailed for 15 months yesterday.

Twice-married Michael Baker, 40, who was caught after her family found his letters hidden in her bedroom will be kicked out of the Army.

Baker smuggled the girl under a blanket in his car for at least 20 Saturday afternoon sex sessions.

He denied the now 15-year-old's story given over a courtroom video link, but the jury of five women and seven men believed the prosecution claim that the letters were his fantasy plans for the girl.

Baker, a 22-year veteran with an 18-year good conduct medal in 40 Regiment Royal Artillery, at Allanbrooke Barracks, in Topcliffe, near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, was also ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years.

Tim Roberts, defending, said Baker's wife, Carol, who had a ten-year-old son from a previous relationship, had divorced him over the affair.

Mr Roberts said: "He wants to apologise for his behaviour. He wishes he could turn back the clock and hopes there are no lasting ill-effects to her."

Baker, from Hereford, told Teesside Crown Court the girl had a crush on him and pursued him with letters and street wolf-whistles.

Baker, formerly of Racecourse Mews, North Yorkshire, was found guilty last month of six charges of having sex with an under-age girl between November 2001 and last July.