THE DIRECTOR of an after-school care charity is behind bars after admitting having sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Phil Hemmans, head of the Julie Graham Children's Charity, had sex with the youngster around 20 times after she befriended his foster daughter.

His perverted actions were only exposed when the victim's suspicious parents, hoping she simply had a teenage crush on Hemmans, secretly videoed the pair together.

They say the sickening sight of Hemmans sucking his thumb, skipping across their living room floor like a teenager and becoming intimate with their daughter prompted them to call the police immediately.

Newcastle Crown Court yesterday heard how Hemmans, 33, took advantage of a blossoming friendship between the girl's family and his own to exploit her obvious crush on him.

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, said the relationship was becoming more apparent when the two families went on holiday to Greece last summer.

He told the court: "He spent a lot of time alone with her, even though he was on holiday with his wife. They would go off taking photographs of sun sets and sun rises.

"Her mother noticed this and told Hemmans to explain to her daughter that they would never have a relationship."

When they returned home to Sacriston, near Chester-le-Street, the parent's suspicions grew.

Mr Dryden added: "They decided to place a video camera in the sitting room to reassure themselves. They watched the video later that night and saw some inappropriate behaviour."

In police interviews he admitted repeated sex sessions, including oral sex, with the girl, but claims she primarily initiated sex.

Hemmans, formerly of Charlow Close, Sacriston, pleaded guilty to six counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and was sentenced to two years to run concurrently for each offence, but will serve only nine months in jail followed by an extension up to two years.

He will also be put on the Sex Offences Register for ten years.

Euan Duff, defending, said Hemmans resigned from his position at the charity when the allegations came to light last November and has been threatened several time by Sacriston residents. Hemmans and his wife now live in the south.

Speaking after the sentencing, the victim's parents said the sense of betrayal by their former friend is 'overwhelming'.

The mother added: "He comes across as a very kind person but he is just an actor. He would visit her when we were out, buy her flowers and perfume - we had trusted him with our daughter.

"We thought it was just a teenage crush. With hindsight it was clear that it wasn't. This sentence is just not enough for the way he has devastated our daughter."