January 2019

Spennymoor father branded ‘extremely selfish’ for targeting schoolgirl

Callum Jardine contacted the girl on social media, referred to her as “babe”, told her she was beautiful and ended each message with at least 20 kisses.

The vulnerable schoolgirl said the contact made her feel special, and she believed there would be a future for the pair – not knowing Jardine was in a relationship and had a child.

Jardine travelled from his home in Spennymoor and had sex with the youngster at her home while her mother was out at work.

After discovering the truth, his victim said she now does not trust males, and she has suffered failed relationships.

In an impact statement, she said: “When I first met Callum, he made me feel really happy, and how he spoke to me made me feel special.

“I felt like I had someone in my life who liked me and wanted to be with me.

“Finding out he was in a relationship with someone else really hurt. I let him take my virginity because I thought he was the one.

“I was really upset and so jealous. I thought he loved me. He told me often. He has left a permanent scar, that will never go away.”

Jardine, who is now aged 22, and was 20 at the time, was told by Judge Stephen Ashurst that there was “an enormous age gap”.

The Teesside Crown Court judge said: “Your decision has had a considerable impact on the way she regards future relationships.

“You were extremely selfish because you failed to understand the impact of what you were doing.

“The fact that she was happy at that stage to embark on a sexual relationship with you is no answer to the charge because the law is there to protect girls, sometimes from themselves, and prevent predatory behaviour by someone older.”

Jardine, now of Derwent Street, Consett, admitted sexual activity with a child, and meeting a child following sexual grooming.

He was put on the sex offenders’ register for life, and given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, restricting his use of social media, and banning him from having unsupervised contact with females under 18.