A PAEDOPHILE has been jailed for four years and eight months for starting a sexual relationship with a teenage girl which left her pregnant.

Lee Hilton, aged 44, of Stanworth Avenue, Breightmet, admitted seven counts of sexual intercourse with a girl aged under 16, at Bolton Crown Court.

The court heard how Hilton repeatedly had sex with the girl over a two-year period, which left her pregnant with a son.

Relations between the girl and her mother became strained, as the girl told her mother the baby was the result of a one-night stand, which led the mother to question her morality.

The court heard how she was not sexually active in any other way at the time, with Hilton having taken her virginity, so she knew no one else could be the father.

Hilton pressured her into keeping the identity of the father secret, and made her feel that she and he would both go to prison if their relationship came to light.

A police investigation only started when the girl felt able to reveal the identity of her son’s father to her current partner.

The court was told how Hilton was “ashamed” of what he had done and had nothing other than “best wishes” for the girl and her family.

Judge Timothy Stead said: “You began a sexual relationship with this girl.

“You never used a condom and applied pressure to a child to keep the matter secret.

“She concealed the truth to protect you, and it has been very difficult for her to come to terms with what has happened to her.

“Her feelings are very strong and negative as one might expect.

“I will give you the fullest discount for your early plea, as I’m compelled to do, but you must still receive a lengthy custodial sentence.”

Hilton was given four years and eight months imprisonment for six of the counts and two years for the seventh, with all sentences to run concurrently.