A FATHER of two who had illegal sexual intercourse with a girl aged 13 he groomed on social media has been warned to expect jail for the offence.

Robert Wright, 33, admitted making the girl engage in sexual acts in Ayr, and having intercourse with her in his then home in Pollock Crescent, Kilwinning, between December 6, 2020, and January 10, 2021, after the pair became 'friends' on Facebook.

The court heard how Wright had told the girl he was 20, before the girl told him she was only 13. 

He pleaded guilty to making sexually inappropriate comments to the girl, kissing and embracing her and touching her buttocks. 

He also compelled her to take part in a sexual act and sexually assaulted her, as well as having intercourse with her. 

He pleaded guilty to an amended charge when he returned to Kilmarnock Sheriff Court on Friday, September 29.

Procurator Fiscal depute Alexander Fraser said: “In December 2020 the accused and complainer became friends on Facebook. The complainer was 13 and the accused 30. 

“On December 6, several messages were exchanged between them, where the accused stated he was 20 and the complainer advised she was 13. This continued for the next few days. 

“They met on December 9 when the complainer attended his home address in Kilwinning.”  

After the illegal sexual intercourse, the court heard Wright met the complainer and a friend on another occasion in a swing park in Ayr, advising at one point ‘this is how you have sex on a swing’. 

They were both observed 'kissing, cuddling and touching her buttocks'.

Mr Fraser added: “A few days later, the friend discussed this with her mother. She then spoke to the complainer's mother, and the complainer confirmed they had sex. 

"He attended Saltcoats police office and was arrested. He made no comment in interview and was released without charge pending further inquiries." 

Defence counsel Laura Ann Radcliffe explained Wright’s family circumstances and said she would reserve her comments in mitigation until criminal justice social work reports were prepared ahead of sentencing. 

She told Sheriff Colin Bisset: “Mr Wright is very realistic as to the consequences. I would ask your Lordship to consider continuing bail for reports.”

Sheriff Bisset told Wright: “The offence you have pleaded guilty to is an extremely serious one.  I will adjourn for background reports – once I have read them then I will decide what to do with you.    

“Make sure you are prepared for a custodial sentence, as that’s uppermost in my mind.” 

Wright was placed on the sex offenders register in the interim, with the time he will stay on the register to be decided when he is sentenced.

Wright’s bail was continued and he will return to court at a later date.

We previously reported how Wright, now of Kenilworth Drive, Saltcoats, was charged under sections 28, 29 and 31 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act, which cover alleged intercourse and sexual activity with an older child and allegedly causing an older child to participate in a sexual activity. 

The case was not prosecuted as an allegation of rape, where offences would be dealt with at High Court level rather than in the sheriff courts. 

He first appeared on December 23, 2021, and entered no plea during a private petition hearing.

He was granted bail on being committed for further examination, before later facing the Crown's indictment in May earlier this year.