December 2003

Man ‘duped’ into having sex with 12-year-old walks free from court

A FORKLIFT truck driver who had sex with a 12-year-old girl who fell pregnant after he met her in an internet chat room has escaped jail.

Glen Parker of Meads Road, Ponders End, could have faced a maximum life sentence for twice sleeping with the virgin schoolgirl, who later had an abortion.

The 18-year-old first met the child in an online chatroom in November last year aged 11, and after exchanging photographs by computer they agreed to meet.

Wood Green Crown Court heard the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was wearing her school uniform when they first met near her school in Kent.

Their relationship developed, and in April this year they had sex for the first time at Parker’s home. He slept with the girl again in May after a party.

Parker cooled off the relationship after the youngster told him she wanted to have a baby, but in June the girl discovered she was pregnant but decided to have an abortion.

In a police interview Parker claimed he had been duped by the girl into believing she was 16. But the court heard the girl had told police this was only true at the beginning of their relationship and he was aware of how old she was by the time they had sex.

The court accepted Parker’s plea of guilty to two counts of sexual intercourse on the basis he believed she was over 16.

Defending, David Markham said in her profile the girl had claimed to be 15, soon to turn 16 and added that Parker had been “incredulous” when he discovered the girl’s true age.

He told the court Parker had contacted the girl after she posted her profile on the Internet stating: “I have got blonde hair, blue eyes, 5ft 3ins and sexy. My favourite things are boys, boys, boys, parties and clubs.”

He said: “Glen Parker was shocked to the core by revelations of her age and of course revelations of her pregnancy.”

In sentencing Judge Zucker said: “I accept that she misled you, but the court had to mark, not only for you but for everyone else, the seriousness of cases of this nature.”

Parker breathed a sigh of relief as he was told he would not have to serve the maximum sentence of life imprisonment. He was able to walk free after the judge imposed an 80-hour community punishment order for each offence, to be served concurrently.

He will also have to sign onto the sex offenders register for five years.