March 2015

Man spared jail after having sex with vulnerable girl of 14

A YOUNG man who had sex in a local park with a vulnerable 14-year-old girl he met on Facebook has been spared a jail term.

George Gatt, 19, took part in the ‘brutal coupling’ in a thicket at The Venney, in Gorse Hill, after meeting up with the youngster and her friend.

Without any sort of romantic advances Gatt had sex with the girl before walking away and not answering her calls.

Now a judge has spared him jail after hearing he had admitted what he had done and would now have the stigma of being a child sex offender.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how Gatt was introduced to the girl through Facebook and was aware she was underage.

Although he may not at first have realised she was 14 she told him in messages, which became sexualised, and they arranged to meet last June, he said.

“She was with a friend of the same age but, notwithstanding that, they went in to a thicket and, in full sight it would seem of her friend, he pulled down her trousers and had intercourse with her,” said Mr Meeke.

“There was some reluctance on her part. Not sufficient reluctance to say it was wholly without consent.

“It was fairly perfunctory and barely a loving act between boyfriend and girlfriend: it was simply an act of intercourse.

“There was no attempt by the defendant of any romantic foreplay, no attempt at any romance, it was an act of brutal coupling. He didn’t after make any attempt to see her again.”

Gatt, formerly of Swindon now living in Croydon, pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child.

Richard Williams, defending, said his client was only 18 at the time of the offence and was very sorry for what he has done.

He said he has now moved away from the area to live with his father and is in full time work trying to forge a career for himself.

As a result of what he has done he said he will have to register as a sex offender and face ‘the stigma of this type of offence that will hang over him for the rest of his life’.

Passing sentence Recorder Maria Lamb said: “You stand before the court to be sentenced for sexual activity with a girl under 16. She was 14 years of age and she is a vulnerable child: you had no regard for that.

“She was a child that needed protection and in the eyes of the law you were an adult, although I accept a young adult, and you were expected to know better.

“You were selfish in the way that you acted towards her. Quite clearly it was all about sexual gratification.

“You have a young sister yourself, a good deal younger, but you wouldn’t want anyone to treat her the way you did the victim.

“One day if you have children yourself you will the sort of anxieties parents fell about young men like you who behave the way you did. Who take advantage of them.

“You walk away but you leave behind the damage that had been inflicted for mothers and fathers and social workers.

“It would be perfectly understandable if those who love her thought the only sentence here could be one of immediate custody.”

But she said because of the impact of the conviction on his life and that he had pleaded guilty, saving her the ordeal of a trial, she could suspend the sentence.

She imposed an 18-month jail term suspended for two years with supervision, a sexual offenders’ programme and banned her from contacting the girl for two years.

He must also register as a sex offender for ten years and he is likely to be banned from working with children.