A PAEDOPHILE from Bromsgrove who sexually abused an underage girl wept as he was jailed for 12 years.

Christopher Franks, of Sedgefield Walk, was convicted by a jury of five counts of sexual activity with a child following a trial at Worcester Crown Court which ended on Friday, September 28.

The jury of 10 reached a majority verdict (nine to one) in favour of conviction on five of six counts, finding Franks not guilty of a single count of sexual activity with a child.

Franks, aged 57, cried as judge Robert Juckes QC sentenced him for the offences which took place between January 2013 and September 2015.

Daniel White, prosecuting, read out part of a victim impact statement, which said: "Everything has changed as a result of what he did. It has been heartbreaking."

The girl said she had struggled with relationships and found she could not trust people easily as a result of what Franks did to her.

Mr White said it was a category 1A offence in terms of harm and culpability, the most serious bracket in the sentencing guidelines involving penetrative activity with a child.

He said aggravating features of the case included the use of alcohol, grooming behaviour and a significant disparity in age between Franks and the victim.

The girl was said to be 13 when the abuse started.

A sexual harm prevention order was made which will prevent Franks from having unsupervised contact with children under 16 other than what is inadvertent or unavoidable in the course of daily life.

Martin Butterworth, defending, said: "It's obvious for a man of his age with his past that a custodial sentence will be difficult."

Judge Juckes said it was an aggravating feature that Franks had been forgiven by the victim but then indulged in exactly the same behaviour despite previous warnings, seizing the opportunity to abuse her again.

He said: "You have, apart from this offence, led a constructive life and it is a terrible thing to see you put in the position you have put yourself in."

The judge said the more vivid aspects of the case would remain with him and the jury, who remained to observe the sentence, for a long time.

He said of the victim: "She did not know what to do. She was trying to think of some way to help herself."

The judge said Franks had plied the girl with drink and spoke of the extreme difficulty she had in recounting what had happened to her.

Franks was jailed for 12 years and must sign the sex offender register indefinitely.