The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was warned about his behaviour after the victim was found at his address in Peterborough after running away from her home in December. However, a week later the girl was found at his home after going missing again. He was arrested again in January and given a final warning but the girl was discovered hiding in a wardrobe of his flat when police were called to the property for an unrelated incident on March 21. A friend told police the pair were in a sexual relationship. The teenager pleaded guilty to three counts of rape and sexual assault. A further charge of abduction was discontinued. He was sentenced to four years in a Young Offenders Institution at Peterborough Crown Court on Friday (July 5). He was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register and made subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order banning him from having unsupervised contact with any child under 16. Detective Constable Fiona Bail said: The offender was repeatedly warned about his behaviour and was well aware that the girl was only 12. However, he chose to ignore those warnings and continued to see her. He effectively groomed her and exploited her vulnerability. It was an extremely difficult investigation because the victim was convinced he was the love of her life. His actions will undoubtedly have long-lasting effects on the girl. This should send a strong message that we will not tolerate such behaviour and offenders face being put before the courts.