A TURKISH man living illegally in Amesbury has been sent to prison for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

Hanifi Sahin, 24, had a two-month relationship with the young girl before it was discovered by her school.

When he was arrested by police he gave a false name and was found to have forged documents – a Bulgarian passport, driving licence and identity card. It was later discovered that he had come to the UK legitimately as a student in 2010 but had overstayed his permission to stay in the country by about two years.

Sahin knew the girl through a friend and they socialised on Facebook before the abuse started.

At Salisbury Crown Court on Monday, Roderick Hine, defending said Sahin was initially reluctant to start a relationship with the victim but accepts that he is the adult and should take responsibility for what happened. Mr Hine said: “His cultural background is that the parent is approached to see if they approve of any relationship. He talked to her mother and he gave them gifts and made a genuine attempt to be involved with the family. “He wanted to be loved and someone to show him affection; it was not a purely sexual motivation.”

Sahin was found guilty of two offences of sexual activity with a child.

He admitted one further offence of sexual touching, three immigration offences and one charge of criminal damage related to writing his name on a cell wall while in custody.

Judge Andrew Barnett told him: “The law in this country is designed to protect people from themselves. This girl was particularly vulnerable because of her background. “We will never know what psychological harm has been done to that girl; you and you alone are responsible for that.”

He sentenced Sahin, of Smithfield Street, Amesbury to 21 months in prison and banned him from unsupervised contact with a female child under 16 for five years.

He will remain on the sex offenders register for ten years and was ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge.