A care worker has been jailed for sexually abusing a child he was supposed to be looking after at a home in Dundee.
Michael Wilkinson admitted having sex with the girl, then aged 16, on multiple occasions between August and September 2019.
The 32-year-old would have sex with the child, sometimes unprotected, in a living room, while other residents and staff were sleeping.
Dundee Sheriff Court was told how Wilkinson, who has a previous conviction for housebreaking, was employed as a social care officer by Dundee City Council.
He is no longer employed by the authority.
Wilkinson was today locked up and placed on the sex offender’s register for 10 years.
Unprotected sex with vulnerable teenager
Sheriff Alastair Carmichael said: “You were 30-years-old at the time and the complainer was 16 and a resident at that unit.
“You were supposed to play a significant role in providing a safe environment for the residents and the complainer.
“Instead, you had sexual intercourse with this young person on three occasions, two of which without any protection.
“In my view, there is no alternative here but a custodial sentence.”
Fears he would be reported
The child was a voluntary resident at the unit and described how Wilkinson came to her bedroom at 11.30pm during the first incident, to offer her a cup of coffee.
They watched television before Wilkinson began to touch her.
Wilkinson got the child to lie beside him on a couch before having unprotected sex with her.
Fiscal depute Lora Apostolova told the court how the child would later feel “awkward” about coming into contact with Wilkinson.
She said: “One night, the accused went to the complainer’s bedroom while everyone was in bed.
“He was upset and saying someone might report that he had harmed children.
“She felt bad for the accused and went to the living room and chatted for an hour. He described details about his personal life.
“The accused lay behind her and had sex on the couch. He told the complainer not to tell anyone as he would lose his job.”
Refused to report abuser
The girl described how, on another occasion, Wilkinson was “trying to be quiet” while having sex with her on a couch.
During a final incident, the girl took a photo of Wilkinson lying next to her under a quilt.
Ms Apostolova said the girl received a number of texts from Wilkinson, who once showed her a picture of himself wearing only a towel.
His conduct came to light after the girl disclosed details to her family but she refused to report Wilkinson.
She denied to police anything inappropriate had happened but later confided in a support worker.
Police interviewed Wilkinson, who denied having sex with the child and sending messages, despite the girl having his personal mobile number.
He told officers: “You just know what the boundaries are.”
Wilkinson’s DNA was found on a pair of shorts the girl had been wearing during one of the incidents. His explanation was that he would wash her clothing.
He was suspended by the council and made no response after being charged.
‘Formed a bond’
Wilkinson, of Cleghorn Street, Dundee, pled guilty to, while being in a position of trust, having sex with a voluntary resident at a children’s unit, attempting to place her hand on his privates and repeatedly touching her on the body between August 15 and September 8 2019.
Solicitor John Boyle said Wilkinson and the child formed a bond as Wilkinson had previously been a product of the care system.
“Unfortunately, he took matters too far.
“He is understandably very concerned about the prospect of a custodial sentence.
“Given his history, he is concerned about being in an institution again.”
Wilkinson was sentenced to 17 months in prison and placed on the sex offender’s register for 10 years.