A KINGSWINFORD man who had sex with a schoolgirl three years ago has avoided further time behind bars.

Judge Nicholas Webb at Wolverhampton Crown Court told Zak Cox he would allow him his freedom because in the interim period he had served a 21-month jail term for a similar offence.

He told the 20-year-old that when he was given the custodial sentence the judge did not know about the other matter and it was "only fair and proper" he should not be denied his liberty.

After completing the 21-month sentence Cox, of The Rise, had continued to be held in custody to await sentence on the new matter - committed in 2016.

The judge said the police had been in a position to link the two offences but they failed to do so and Cox himself had not revealed the second matter.

"The court is having to deal with a one-off consensual act after you have already served a sentence for an identical offence," he added.

Cox admitted sexual activity with a child and was given a three-year Community Order and told he must attend the Sex Offenders Treatment Programme.

He was further told he must carry out 100 hours unpaid work in the community, ordered to register as a Sex Offender for five years and made the subject of a five-year Sexual Harm Protection Order.

Oliver Woolhouse, defending, said the court had no knowledge of the new offence when Cox was sentenced to 21 months on a similar charge.

It came to light much later and it was "unfortunate to say the least," added Mr Woolhouse who said Cox had been held on remand for just a matter of days awaiting sentence after completing his custodial term.

Nigel Stelling, prosecuting, said Cox had consensual sex with the schoolgirl but she later went to the police after their relationship broke down.

Cox, who had formerly lived at an address in Brierley Hill, had learned the girl was under age but it had no effect on their relationship, said Mr Stelling.