November 2009

Teenager escapes custody after sex with girl, 13

A teenager who had sex with a 13-year-old girl after she sneaked out from home at night has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Charles Prior, 19, admitted knowing the schoolgirl was under the age of consent when they had consensual sex twice, when he was aged 18, in August.

Northampton Crown Court heard the victim, who cannot be named, confided in a family friend about sex with Prior, drinking alcohol and sneaking out.

John Lloyd-Jones, prosecuting, said the pair met in the summer holidays, contacting each other through calls and text messages and arranged to meet at his home.

On two separate nights, she “snuck out of her home at 10.30pm” went to Prior’s home where they had sex, before “sneaking back in” after 3.30am.

Mr Lloyd-Jones added: “Consent is not an issue in this case.

“It is not disputed that at the time he was fully aware she was 13 years of age. She had told him on a number of previous occasions. He had asked her if she wanted to have sex and she said she did.

“Later, she confided this activity with some friends at school and rumours started to spread. However, her mother asked a friend to speak her.”

Mr Lloyd-Jones added: “The defendant went on to admit also having sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl, who has not made a complaint. It is not in the public interest to prosecute.”

However, he added: “The defendant seems to have a predilection for having sexual intercourse with girls younger than him.”

Richard Holloway, defending, said: “He is an immature young man, who found himself somewhat cast adrift. But he makes no excuses for his behaviour.

“He said his parents brought him up to tell the truth, so that’s what he did.”

Prior previously pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual activity with a child.

Judge Charles Harris QC said Prior, who spent 75 days on remand, was not a paedophile, but was responsible “for wholly inappropriate behaviour”.

“The legislation is there to protect children.

“I hope prison has been salutary for you. In all the circumstances, the course I propose to make is commensurate with my public duty,” he said.

Prior, of Nelson Avenue, Woodford Halse was sentenced to 12 months suspended for two years, and put on the sex offenders’ register.

He must also do 150 hours’ community service, with supervision and alcohol treatment and is subject to a five-year sex offences’ prevention order.