A MAN who slept with his girlfriend's 15-year-old daughter after watching Eastenders character Grant Mitchell sleep with his wife's mother has been jailed.
The man, then 27, was watching a re-run of the BBC soap storyline where Grant, played by Ross Kemp, had an affair with his mother-in-law.
The affair storyline between Grant and Louise – played by actress Carol Harrison – was aired in 1998.
He looked ''pointedly'' at the teenager and said: “Oh isn't he lucky!'', a court heard.
Later the pair had sex under the nose of the girl's unwitting mother.
Over a four-month period, the man told the girl how much he loved her and at one stage she mistakenly feared she had become pregnant.
The girl, from Manchester, kept the affair a secret until she told her aunt in 2019.
Now a married mother-of-one, aged 29, she told police: ''I was frightened about what would happen if I told her mother as I thought she would hate me.
''I felt ashamed at the time and I still have let my mum down by what has happened. I am now struggling with my mental health.
“Because of what happened, I have kept my husband from our child, not letting him bathe the child or change its nappies.
"I'm even worried about allowing friends to come for sleepovers. A part of my life has been negatively impacted.”
You caused serious damage to her mental health
At Manchester Crown Court, the man, now 42, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, was jailed eight years after he pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child and indecent assault.
The court heard the youngster had developed a ''schoolgirl'' crush on the man after he moved in with her mother at their family home in the year 2000.
She later temporarily moved in with her grandmother when she told her mother he had been touching her but subsequently returned home in 2006.
The court heard how the man paid the girl compliments and told her how ‘grown up’ she looked, and gave her alcohol.
When her mum was in the bath one day, the man gave her a spliff, and had sex with her later that night, the court was told.
Prosecutor Paul Treble said: ‘This was the first of many occasions – at least seven – and it went on for around three or four months.
‘The final occasion was shortly after New Year of 2007, following which she told the defendant that they had to stop. The Defendant told her, “If this ever came out, it’d be you that’d be in trouble”.’
The defendant told the girl to keep their sexual encounters as “our little secret”, the court heard.
The man voluntarily attended Longsight police station in October 2019 for interview.
He said he did not wish for a solicitor as he “had done it” and was said to have made ''frank admissions.''
In mitigation, defence counsel Jonathan James Turner, said his client had "lost his entire family.''
The man was also ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register indefinitely and was made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
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