A PRISON officer who groomed a schoolgirl on the internet and took her to his home for a weekend of sex has been jailed for four years.
Pervert Matthew Rowse, 41, contacted the 15-year-old on a website for teenagers and twice drove to the North East to meet her.
On the first occasion, the youngster’s parents were suspicious of her plans to go out and refused to let her leave their home in Stockton.
Rowse travelled again from Doncaster weeks later to meet the teenager and took her straight back to his home in Markham Road, Edlington, without them speaking a word in his car.
Teesside Crown Court heard how the girl spent the next 36 hours living in his bedroom while her frantic parents and police officers searched for her.
The teenager’s mother reported her missing and a nationwide search ended when a signal from her mobile phone was traced to Rowse’s home.
Police officers found the pair in bed with the girl wearing nothing more than her bra, prosecutor Louise Reevell told Judge George Moorhouse.
Rowse, a father-of-three, admitted meeting a child after sexual grooming and four charges of sexual activity with a child last November.
The court heard that there had been hundreds of text messages, many of which were of an explicit nature, exchanged.
They also made contact on a number of online social networking sites.
Rowse told police he was a prison officer at HMP Hatfield’s young offenders’ institution and refused to answer their questions after being arrested.
Peter Makepeace, mitigating, said that Rowse had lost his job, his home and his family as a result of his arrest and remand in custody before Christmas.
He said: “There has been substantial punishment outwith the criminal process.”
Mr Makepeace also said that Rowse would be held in segregation for his own protection.
He said: “He is determined to use the time he will spend in custody addressing the difficulties that he knows brought him before the court.
“He will comply with any assistance, or programmes or treatment available to him to ensure that there is no further offending.
“He is going to have to spend the rest of his sentence in protection.
“That’s a very, very difficult time to serve and he is feeling it acutely.”
Rowse, who was an officer support grade at the Doncaster youth prison, will be banned from working with children for life.
He has also been banned from having unsupervised or internet contact with girls under 16 and is now on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.