Serial offender jailed for grooming teenage girl

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A PERVERT who groomed a 13-year-old schoolgirl before sexually abusing her was jailed for three years at Lincoln Crown Court on Friday.

Michael Bratton, 50, of Southwell Close, Nettleton had denied sexually touching the teenager in February 2010 but was convicted by a jury following a trial.

John Hallissey, prosecuting, told the court that Bratton had twice previously been jailed for sex attacks on young girls and in 1991 received six years in prison.

During a trial heard in July, the jury was told that Bratton befriended the girl’s family and effectively groomed her over a period of time before striking.

He indecently touched the youngster, who subsequently made a complaint resulting in a police inquiry.

Bratton was placed on the sex offenders register for life. He claimed during his trial that evidence against him had been fabricated.

Bratton suggested the girl had deliberately “framed” him.

But Judge Michael Heath told him: “You were convicted by the jury on compelling evidence.

You, in a sophisticated way and over a period of time, groomed this 13-year-old girl and waited for your opportunity to try it on with her.

“She was obviously distressed at what you did. It is not the first time you have been in trouble in relation to girls under the age of 14.

“In the course of your evidence you put forward ridiculous suggestions, which the jury rightly rejected. The sentence has to be one of imprisonment..”

David Stanton, defending, said any prison sentence would be harder for Bratton to serve due to the fact that he suffers from health problems.

He said: “His physical health is not good. His physical discomfort will be enormous and more so than other defendants.

“I ask you to take that into account.”

He said Bratton disputes his conviction and told the court: “He is unable to accept the verdict of the jury.”