A STUDENT who raped a 12-year-old and made her pregnant in Kilwinning was today (Wednesday, April 11) sentenced to two years and 10 months detention.

Gary Dryden, 19, made contact with the girl by Facebook in September 2016, before meeting up with her and having sex at least seven times.

Judge Lord Burns told Dryden, from Irvine: “You have pled guilty to the rape of a young child when she was only 12 and she became pregnant.

“You purposely contacted this child and developed a sexual relationship with her.”

Lord Burns said that but for his early plea he would have jailed Dryden for three and a half years.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that Dryden is assessed as being at a high risk of re-offending.

Lord Burns intends to impose a Sexual Offences Prevention Order on him which could mean among other things Dryden's computer use being monitored by the police.

The court heard that Dryden first had sex with the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at a secluded area near a sports centre in Kilwinning, North Ayrshire.

The “scared” girl later discovered she was having his baby and after speaking with her parents had an abortion.

Dryden pled guilty to raping her.

The girl was 12 when she received a friend request from Dryden on Facebook.

Prosecutor Gillian Ross said he was “unknown to her” at the time – but they exchanged messages and agreed to see each other.

It was during one meeting Dryden suggested they go to a quiet spot close to a sports centre in Kilwinning.

The court heard he told the girl he wanted to have sex with her – she initially thought he was “joking”.

Miss Ross then explained: “A few days after the first incident, they met up.

“This pattern of contact continued and they had sexual intercourse on at least seven occasions always at the same location.”

Miss Ross told the court that eventually the girl told a friend she was expecting.: DNA tests confirmed Dryden was the father.

When questioned by police Dryden admitted having sex with the schoolgirl, but claimed he thought she was 17.

Miss Ross said: “He accepted that he started to think she was 14 because of 'how young she looked'.”

At the time Dryden was a student at Ayrshire College in Kilwinning.

Defence counsel Louise Arrol argued that the case should be dealt with by a community payback order, rather than detention, given his age and the fact he has learning difficulties.