A man has been jailed for repeatedly having sex with a 14-year-old girl over the course of a year after he befriended her on Facebook.
John Carroll from Anstruther met the girl via the social networking site in summer 2014.
Almost immediately they began a sexual relationship, despite Carroll, then 19, knowing the girl was only 14.
Their relationship continued – in the full knowledge of the girl’s mother – for almost a year before they split just after her 16th birthday.
At one point they were caught in bed together by the girl’s uncle.
Eilidh Robertson, depute fiscal, told Dundee Sheriff Court that the uncle confronted Carroll, telling him he would “go to jail and on the sex offenders register.”
Miss Robertson said: “He would take the bus with her to school and meet her at lunchtime.
“He was aware of her age but didn’t seem concerned about this.
“The girl was initially cautious about having sex and discussed it openly with her friends.
“Her mother felt that during their relationship she was withdrawn but more like herself after they split.
“After they broke up she thought about matters and decided to report it to police.”
Carroll (21), of High Street East, Anstruther, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge under the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act committed between August 22, 2014 and September 29, 2015 at various addresses in north-east Fife.
Kerr Sneddon, defence solicitor said: “The complainer’s mother and family were completely aware of the relationship and that must have given him some vindication that it was okay.”
Sheriff Alastair Carmichael jailed Carroll for eight months and placed him on the sex offenders register for 10 years.
He said: “This law was put in place with a view to protecting children under 16. You were an adult and she was a child.
“Over a period of 13 months you repeatedly had sex with her. The only proper sentence is custody.”