Burnley pop singer's texts shame
A ROCK singer from Burnley asked an underage girl to perform a naked massage on him, a court was told.
Nick Waite, lead singer of a Burnley-based band has been ordered to sign the sex offender’s register. He became embroiled in an online relationship with the teenager, swapping text messages and Facebook chat over a six-week period, the town’s crown court was told.
But among more than 800 messages swapped between the pair was an invitation from Waite, then aged 20, to perform a naked massage on him, the court heard.
Waite, now 21, of Mary Towneley Fold, Burnley, was originally charged with arranging or facilitating a sexual offence involving a girl aged under 13 and three offences of grooming.
The charges were later replaced with four offences of causing or inciting a child aged under 13 to engage in sexual activity.
He admitted one charge, in relation to the naked massage, but denied the other three, involving other sexual acts.
Prosecutor Martin Hackett said that the plea was acceptable to the Crown.
He told the court: “The Crown has the view that, the defendant being 20 and the complainant being 12, there was clearly inappropriate text or Facebook messages and this needs to be marked with some kind of criminal offence.”
Judge Beverley Lunt said that even on his own account, the girl had told him she was 14.
“He is not a sexual predator and this is not a grooming case. It is a case where there was the opportunity and nothing actually happened to her whatsoever,” added Judge Lunt.
The judge said that she was aware, by his plea, that he had also prevented the girl having to come into court and explain her own behaviour.
Judge Lunt added: “She has to be protected from exposure because she has behaved like a a 12-year-old child, as she is entitled to do.”
Paul Lewis, defending, said 844 messages had passed between Waite and the girl over a six-week period and the ‘significant majority’ of them had no sexual connotations or innuendo.
The defendant, who was a man of previous good character, was only 19 when the matters first came to light, added Mr Lewis.
Waite had run his own car valet business after leaving school with good GCSES but had now given up the enterprise to concentrate on his music career.
Mr Lewis said his client had been prescribed anti-depressants, during the course of the proceedings, but still had the support of his immediate family.
Judge Lunt released Waite on bail until tomorrow so he can be assessed by the probation service, ahead of sentence.
He was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register on an interim basis until he is finally sentenced.