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Actor raped girl,14, and abused three other youngsters

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An actor raped a 14-year-old girl and abused three other girls after "skillfully manipulating" vulnerable youngsters he met through his theatre work.

Matthew John Wilson, who was jailed for nine years yesterday, preyed on children and duped them into thinking they were in a relationship with him.

One 16-year-old became pregnant by him, but suffered a miscarriage, Leicester Crown Court was told.

The offences included Wilson downloading more than 2,000 indecent images of young girls.

The 34-year-old, of Elm Tree Drive, Burbage, is well known on the theatre scene in Hinckley and has appeared in numerous shows, mainly at the Concordia Theatre in the town.

Rebecca Herbert, prosecuting, said he used the theatre to meet, groom and abuse young girls through "skilful manipulation".

In 2002, Wilson, then 24, formed a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old.

Because of his young looks, the girl told her parents he was 17 and he was allowed into her bedroom, where a series of sex acts took place. Intercourse happened shortly after she turned 16, and she became pregnant, before miscarrying the child.

When he was 26, he turned his attention to a 13-year-old. He texted a picture of his bedroom saying: "Wish you were here."

When she was 14, he persuaded her to have intercourse. However, she found it painful and asked him to stop – which he ignored and proceeded to rape her.

A couple of years later, he repeatedly molested a girl when she was aged between 14 and 16.

In 2011, when he was 32, he befriended a 15-year-old. This led to kissing and grooming with talk of sexual activity.

The girl's sister saw text messages between the pair and alerted her parents, who called the police.

Mrs Herbert said it had "a harrowing effect" on the whole family.

An investigation unearthed the other three victims. Wilson told officers he was attracted to younger females as women his own age were not interested in him. He admitted raping the 14-year-old girl, as well as three counts of sexual activity with her.

He admitted five counts of indecently assaulting a 15-year-old girl.

The defendant pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a 14-year-old.

He admitted two counts of sexual activity with another 14-year-old girl and one of causing or inciting her to engage in sexual activity, including intercourse.

Wilson also pleaded guilty to four counts of making indecent photographs of children, by accessing illegal images of young girls on the internet, between January and June last year. They relate to 2,221 images at level one, the lowest level of seriousness, five images at level two, four images at level 3 and 24 images at level four.

Wilson, who has no previous convictions, was told he could expect to serve two-thirds of his nine-year sentence behind bars. Usually, half a sentence is served behind bars.

Sentencing, Judge Mark Rogers said: "Your behaviour has shattered the lives of a number of families.'' He said the victim impact statements where "truly shocking and distressing".

Wilson was told he will be on a sex offender register for life. He was banned from working with children and placed on a sex offences prevention order.

Philip Gibbs, mitigating, said: "His mother has written a letter from the heart putting into context the defendant's life. He's a damaged, weak, needy, socially-isolated adult and took sexual pleasure where he shouldn't have done and should have been a role model.

"He accepts he's done wrong."

After the hearing, Detective Constable Glen Williams, of Leicestershire Police's serious crime team, said: "I'd like to thank the victims for their co-operation, firstly in coming forward and also for their bravery in giving their accounts to the police."

Actor raped girl,14, and abused three other youngsters


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