A young actor has been found guilty of sexual assaults on three 14-year-old girls including one who he had sex with at a sleepover party.
Arran Mullen sobbed uncontrollably as a jury at Exeter Crown Court found him guilty of four offences against the girls to whom he claimed to have been acting as a friend and mentor.
A court heard Mullen fondled one of the young victims at a party following a charity event in Barnstaple and slept with another after she had arrived at his home drunk.
He put his hands inside the trousers of another 14-year-old when she went to his father’s home in Barnstaple to talk to him when she had come straight from school and was still in uniform, a court heard.
Mullen, 22, claimed he had offered the girls a shoulder to cry on and never done anything more sinister than give them a supportive hug.
The jury took seven hours to convict him of four out of five charges he faced, including at least one against each of the three victims.
He is an aspiring actor who met one of his victims at a drama group and another on Facebook while he was on a performing arts course at university in Canada.
Mullen, of Wimborne Terrace, Barnstaple, denied assault by penetration and four charges of sexual activity with a child which all relate to three 14-year-old girls in the summer and autumn of 2012.
He was found guilty of all but one offences and cleared of touching one girl at a party which followed a Headway charity event at the Barnstaple British Legion club.
The girls told the jury how they were assaulted after drinking under age at parties, including sleepovers at Mullen’s home.
One said he fondled her while she was sleeping on the floor of his house with other teenagers, another said he had consensual sex with her in his bedroom at a sleepover.
A third girl said he put his hand down her school trousers after she went to watch television and talk at his father’s home in Barnstaple after school.
Mullen insisted he had no sexual activity with any of the girls and had not even been in the same room at them at the time of the alleged assaults.
He said:”I was showing compassion and empathy. I felt I could be a good role model. I felt sorry for one girl and felt she could not talk to anyone else. I felt obliged to help her.
“I tried my best to help her and keep her happy. I was afraid of what she might do. Look at what is happening now.
“I did not want her to feel bad. I don’t like anyone feeling bad. I am a people pleaser. I want everyone to feel happy.”