A FARMER was jailed for three-and-a-half years on Tuesday after he was found guilty of sexually touching an under-age girl.
Adrian Massam (39) had denied eight charges of sexual assault but was found guilty after a five-day trial at Lincoln Crown Court in August.
Massam, of Barling Drove, Sutton St James, will now have to register as a sex offender for life and was also made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) which forbids him from any unsupervised contact with children.
The jury heard Massam’s conduct came to light when some of the girl’s schoolfriends confided in a teacher.
Passing sentence at Lincoln Crown Court, Recorder Mark Wall QC, said the girls had acted “bravely and sensibly” in reporting the allegation.
Jailing Massam, Recorder Wall told him: “I am sure they prevented further abuse by you.
“You made sure her interest in you endured by sending her copious amounts of text messages.
“You moved forward in a series of steps. You began by kissing her passionately on the lips and touching her breasts.”
Massam denied eight offences of sexual assault on a girl aged under-13 over a four-month period.
But Cat Sjolin, prosecuting, told the court: “This is a case where there is a real disparity in ages and it continued for some time.”
The court heard Massam is still in denial about the offences.
Michael Proctor, mitigating, said there was no evidence of any threats or coercion from Massam.
Mr Proctor told the court: “He is a 39-year-old man, effectively of good character.
“The very fact he has been convicted of these offences is a source of great shame and punishment, and he has spent the last four or five weeks in custody.
“It seems there was an oppotunity and he was weak,” Mr Proctor added.
“Mr Massam’s wife is standing by him, but at his request she has not attended court during the trial.”