A 31-year-old man has been jailed for 10 years after admitting the rape and sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl he met through social media.

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Robert Anderson Fulton of Southwell Road, Lowestoft, pleaded guilty to the offences when he appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Monday, October 21 this year.

Fulton had been charged with two counts of rape and the sexual assault following an extensive enquiry by detectives at Great Yarmouth CID.

Fulton had admitted to using Facebook to make contact with the victim who he subsequently raped and assaulted on Friday, December 28 2012 in the Great Yarmouth area.

In court today he was sentenced by Judge Bate to 10 years in prison and placed on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.

Detective Constable Richard Wallis who led the investigation, said: “The victim has been left devastated by her ordeal, she is very vulnerable and is slowly coming to terms with what happened to her.

“Fulton posed as a 19-year-old while using social media to contact the victim, who he did not previously know. He is an extremely manipulative and dangerous individual.”

Det Con Wallis urged parents not to be afraid of quizzing their children on their use of social media.

“Many parents can feel apprehensive about being too nosey about their children’s lives. But they need to adopt prying eyes and become much more mindful of the dangers the online world can bring.

“We take all offences of a sexual nature extremely seriously. The Constabulary has a number of specially trained officers to deal with such crimes who ensure victims receive care in an empathetic and appropriate manner.”

Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies launched the ‘Time to Stop’ Rape Campaign in June 2012 to raise awareness of rape and sexual violence in both counties, particularly among young women and men aged 17 to 24.

A short film entitled ‘Look what you did’ was also produced to highlight the work of the SARC from the angle of three different victims.

For more information on the ‘Time to Stop’ campaign visit: http://www.norfolk.police.uk/safetyadvice/personalsafety/rapetimetostop.aspx.