A MAN took advantage of a broken-hearted 14-year-old schoolgirl and formed a sexual relationship with her, a court heard.

John Smith, who was 22 at the time, bombarded the girl with letters then put "emotional pressure" on her to have sex with him.

Newcastle Crown Court heard yesterday that he started paying attention to herafter she was split from her boyfriend in 2000.

John Aitken, prosecuting, said: "She was a bit upset. The defendant took advantage of that and started a relationship with her."

The pair began exchanging letters and had sex six times, the court heard.

The jury heard an extract from one of Mr Smith's letters, in which he was said to have called the girl a "tease" and "flirty" in a bid to get her to submit to sex.

Mr Aitken said: "Eventually, she did indeed say 'yes'."

Mr Smith, of Ivy Terrace, Langley Park, County Durham, denies having sexual intercourse with the girl, indecent assault and intimidating a witness who had agreed to give a statement in the case.

The trial continues.