April 2011

Ex-soldier made girl, 14, pregnant


A FORMER infantry soldier who had sex with a 14-year-old girl, making her pregnant, has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Shane Matticks, 23, was jailed for sexual activity with a child under the age of 16 following a four-day trial at Canterbury Crown Court in February.

Reporting restrictions prevented publication of the details until the end of a separate trial for two charges of rape at Maidstone Crown Court scheduled for this month.

Matticks has since entered a guilty plea to these offences, which took place in Medway in October, and is due to be sentenced tomorrow (Friday).

The Canterbury court heard Matticks preyed on the youngster after meeting her at a party in Whitfield near Dover in July 2009.

He drank 12 beers before driving the victim to a flat where he had sex with her, despite her saying she was aged 14 and a virgin.

Balding Matticks described the girl as being grown up and said he thought she was 17 or 18.

The victim gave birth to a son in spring last year, when she was 15. DNA tests showed Matticks as 99.9 per cent likely to be the father.

Deborah Charles, prosecuting, said: “Matticks had had quite a lot to drink and did not care if he drove in that state and did not care if he slept with this girl whatever her age. He was clearly told she was only 14.”

Louis French, defending, said there was no dispute that Matticks had slept with the girl and fathered a son but said he believed her to be old enough.

He added: “What did she look like that night? Was she trying to look grown up, not like a schoolgirl in schoolgirl clothes?”

He disputed that Matticks was ever told the girl’s age, accusing witnesses of trying to “bolster” the case.

The jury took 15 minutes to return a unanimous guilty verdict.

Sentencing Matticks to five years in prison, Recorder Peter Gower QC said: “I have no doubt you were told by others that she was only 14 and by her that she was a virgin. These were matters of complete indifference to you. You took advantage of her young age and emotional immaturity.”

In addition to being jailed Matticks, who moved to Gillingham after the offences, has been put on the sex offenders register for an indefinite period.