A female shop worker has been jailed after grooming a teenage girl for sex.
Ellee Nicoll, 25, bought the young girl presents and gave her money before embarking on a sexual relationship with her.
A court heard that Nicoll “cultivated” the relationship, engaging in months of sexting with the teen - and decided to watch a “lesbian film” with her to normalise “what [she] wanted to happen”.
The truth only came about when the young girl's mother became concerned at how close the pair were becoming and told the teenager what grooming entailed.
It led the youngster to feeling “sick” to her stomach.
Sitting at Swindon Crown Court, Judge Jason Taylor QC, sentenced Nicoll to an immediate prison sentence of two years and two months.
He said: “Alarm bells should have been ringing loud and clear in your mind, but you were seemingly tone death.”
Opening the case, prosecutor Andrew Houston said that Nicoll, of Walcot, Somerset, initially became friends with the girl, and that the victim looked up to her like a “big sister”.
But the relationship quickly changed, with the victim making the first move to turn the conversation to sexting - and also sending her pictures of her naked and in underwear.
It was claimed that Nicoll, who worked at the Swindon branch of Co-Op, sent pictures back, although this was disputed by the defence.
Messages showed “heavy sexual flirtation” between the two, and friends said the pair were “touchy-feely” and would smack each other on the bottom.
Houston said that Nicoll’s mother had warned her to stay away from the schoolgirl.
Then one night the teenager's mother offered Nicoll a place to stay when she had a family disagreement and, unaware of the nature of their relationship, said they could share a bed.
He told the court that they watched “a lesbian film in bed, they then agreed to do stuff to each other”.
In the following days, Nicoll described it as “the best night of her life”, and the victim said she had “no regrets”.
Mitigating, Gareth James said the offending was “out of character” and that it has “had a devastating effect on her already”.
“She does seem to be a defendant who can properly and accurately be described as vulnerable herself and perhaps immature, and perhaps didn’t think through the consequences of her actions, having effectively fallen for feelings she shouldn’t have had,” James said.
He added that it has had a “significant adverse impact” on his client’s mental health and she is voluntarily working to address this. He pleaded with Judge Taylor to impose a suspended sentence, saying that work she had already undertaken on a voluntary basis "demonstrates very clearly there is a significant prospect of rehabilitation.”
Sentencing, Judge Taylor acknowledged that Nicoll “did not set out” to groom the girl, but that grooming occurred nonetheless.
“When she sent you naked images of herself, the appropriate thing to do was gently say ‘it is not appropriate'.
“You had become so desensitised from her age it didn’t give you pause for thought in the cold hard light of day. ’No regrets’ for [the victim] turned to embarrassment, and by the time she was interviewed by police, she felt sick.
“Sometimes teenagers just need to be protected from themselves.”
Judge Taylor told the court that while female offending of this type is more unusual, "it is no less serious".
"There is still a child victim who will be affected by what you did," he said. For that reason, even if the sentence had been within the range of being suspendable, I would have reluctantly said appropriate punishment could only be achieved by immediate imprisonment.”
Having pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child and sexual communication with a child, Nicoll, was jailed for two years and two months.
A sexual harm prevention order was made for 10 years, as was a restraining order preventing her from contacting the victim.