May 2017: Pearce has now been released. But is NOT living in Plymouth
Plymouth man jailed for having sex with a schoolgirl
Pearce pictured above with a beard in police mugshot
A 28-YEAR-OLD has been jailed for six years for repeatedly having sex with a schoolgirl.
A judge told Stewart Pearce that he had taken advantage of the vulnerable youngster for his own pleasure.
The girl faced her abuser through two trials a year apart at Plymouth Crown Court.
She stayed to see Pearce finally locked up after being found guilty by a jury – after the first panel had failed to agree on their verdicts.
The youngster, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told police she was disgusted by their relationship.
The jury watched her say during a video interview: “I feel it is sick, I feel ashamed of myself.”
Pearce, of Plymouth, had pleaded not guilty to six counts of sexual activity with a child in 2011 and 2012.
He admitted that he knew the youngster, but repeatedly denied they had any kind of sexual relationship.
The jury found him guilty on all counts by unanimous verdicts after five hours of deliberations.
Judge Philip Wassall told Pearce: “There was no an element of affection or love as far as you were concerned. It was just sexual abuse.
“She was plainly someone who was vulnerable and you just took advantage of that.”
He added that they had sex at least 16 times.
The court heard that the six incidents which were subject to the charges were specimen counts – or examples of other offences.
Rupert Taylor, for Pearce, said the offences were not sophisticated.
He added he had no relevant convictions and had not been in trouble since his arrest.
Mr Taylor said: “He did not set out to cause harm. It is obvious he did not set out to target someone.
“This is a very sad case. There is nobody who is going to benefit. He failed to act as an adult.”
The youngster, who had to give evidence in both trials, said that she did not tell anyone what was happening because Pearce told her they would both be in trouble. She eventually told her family, who immediately called the police.
Judge Wassall also handed Pearce a ten-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
It bans him from staying in a household with a child under 16 or being in contact with anyone below that age.
Pearce, unemployed, must also sign the Sex Offender Register.
Clean shaven Pearce on his way into court