August 2013

Sittingbourne father jailed after having sex with young girl he claimed ‘came on to him’

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A middle-aged man who claimed a teenage girl had given him the “come on” and instigated sex has been jailed for four years.

Father-of-two Roger Panesar told police following his arrest the youngster was sexually active and would arouse him.

Maidstone Crown Court heard the girl herself told police she “went along with it” because she thought it was “normal” and enjoyed it.

But Judge Charles Macdonald QC said the law was in place to protect young victims who consented to inappropriate relationships.

“There is but one thin point (of mitigation) and that is she did not ultimately withhold any consent,” he remarked.

“But the law is there to protect young girls who make that decision and so it is hardly any mitigation at all.”

Panesar, of The Parade, Northwood Drive, Sittingbourne, admitted four offences of sexual activity with a child between December 2010 and March 2011.

Prosecutor Gary Pons said the girl resisted the 41-year-old at first and told him she was not interested when he tried to kiss and hug her.

However, the court was told she said nothing when, on another occasion, he started to kiss her.

“He took off her clothes and, in her words, she just went along with it,” added Mr Pons.

The girl told police sexual activity took place between them on at least 10 occasions.

In her interview with officers, she said: “I thought it was normal. I enjoyed it so I went along with it.”

Panesar admitted at the time of his arrest he had had sexual intercourse with the teenager, but added: “She came on to me.

The prosecutor added: “He said that she had instigated the sex. He said she was sexually active and would arouse him.

“He said it was a secret between the two of them, but denied making any threats.”

The court was told the girl had alleged that Panesar threatened to “punch the living daylights out of her” if she ever told anyone what was going on.

Tom Stern, defending, said Panesar also disputed the number of times he had had sex with the girl, but added he could “offer little” that would explain his offending.

“It was ostensibly consensual conduct… but there was a gross failure of judgement on his part.”

As part of his sentence, Panesar must sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely. He was also made subject to a sexual offences prevention order which includes a ban on unsupervised contact with children under 16.