A MAN who groomed young girls for sex using social media and raped one has been locked up for six years and four months.

Louis Beagen, 20, of Ennerdale court, Newport, was described as “bullying” and “dictatorial” by Judge William Gaskell when he appeared before Cardiff Crown Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to rape, three counts of sexual activity with a child and a further two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

The charges relate to three girls under the age of 16 at the time of the offences.

Christopher Rees, prosecuting, told the court Beagen groomed young girls through Facebook in order to indulge in unlawful sexual intercourse.

The court heard Beagan had sent one girl sexually explicit private messages and arranged to meet her.

Mr Rees told the court heard Beagen raped her after ‘plying’ her with alcohol, raping her in front of his friend and another girl, who were having sex in the same room.

He said: “She was scared, she did not want to do it. He told her to shut up and stop being stupid. She told him to stop. During the rape he bragged to his friend about what he was doing.”

The court also heard he sent sexually explicit messages to the other two girls, pestering them to meet him for sex.

The court heard he invited them to his house, and although one of them visited him, she claimed they did not have sex, although Beagen did kiss her.

The third girl told police Beagen initiated contact sending her a Facebook message. She said he persistently sexually messaged her, until he eventually told her he would stop sending her messages if she would have sex with him. He was 19 at the time, although he told her he was 16 or 17.

Defence barrister Marian Lewis said the defendant was immature for his age and had no previous convictions. He was remorseful, ashamed and embarrassed, but was not a ‘mature predator of young girls’.

Judge Gaskell told Beagen: “You utilised the social network Facebook to groom these three young girls.”

Of the offences against the first girl, he said: “You simply used her as a spittoon of your sexual desires.

“You raped her. She made it clear that she did not want to. She told you to stop, but you persisted. You were crude and rough with her, telling her to stop being stupid.

“You were bullying, you were dictatorial, you humiliated her in the presence of other young people, boasting about what you were doing.

“Your behaviour is utterly contemptible. No one who hears what you have done to these girls can do anything but despise you.”

Beagan will spend the first part of his sentence in a young offenders’ institution before moving to prison. He was also placed under an indefinite sexual offences prevention order, which bans him from living with a child under 16 unless social services give approval.

Officer in the case, DC Carrie Cole said: “We welcome today’s result and hope that the victims can now get some closure.”