Langwith youth worker treated victim like ‘one of the family’, court is told

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The trial of a Langwith youth worker accused of having sex with a vulnerable 15-year-old girl he was meant to be supporting heard that the victim was ‘treated like one of the family’.

Mark Wakeling (46) was employed as a personal advisor at the Connexions office in Ryton Street, Worksop, and Nottingam Crown Court heard that he supported the victim, who can not be named for legal reasons, through a difficult time and helped get her life back on track.

He denies seven counts, including sexual activity with a child under 16, causing a child to engage in sexual activity by virtue of being in a position of trust, and sending and receiving sexualised text messages.

The charges span more than two years, between January 2009 and May 2011.

Wakeling’s wife, Dawn, told the court that she had treated the victim like one of the family and that she would stay over regularly at the house, staying most weekends and one night during the week, and that sometimes Wakeling would stay up later alone with the victim.

The jury also heard from a witness in court that the images the victim claim to be of her were actually sent to the defendant by the witness.

The court also heard from witnesses who described Wakeling as honest, trustworthy and always willing to go the extra mile to help people.

The trial continues.