May 2016

Man who had sex with a 12-year-old girl had been spared jail

Kieran Dalton

A man of 19 who had sex with a 12-year-old girl had been spared jail due to “exceptional circumstances”.

Kieran Dalton, from Wirral, admitted the statutory rape of a child under 13, when he was aged 18.

However, the girl – who said it was consensual – refused to make a complaint and the prosecution was based on his admissions

Charles Lander, prosecuting, said the matter came to light when the girl visited a sexual health clinic.

He said she told workers “she had been talking to an older male on Facebook who told her to come to his flat”.

Mr Lander said: “She said she knew he was 18 and mentioned it was all consensual.”

Social services were informed and police visited the girl’s home, but neither she nor her family would give a statement.

Mr Lander agreed with Judge Alan Conrad, QC, that without Dalton’s admissions, “it would have been impossible to launch a prosecution”.

He said there was evidence she made sexually explicit suggestions to Dalton and wanted to meet near his parents’ home.

Judge Conrad said it was an offence that spanned a wide range of culpability, from older “exploitative, predatory paedophiles” to younger offenders like Dalton who have consensual sex with a girl they believe to be older at “the other end of the spectrum”.

The judge said sentencing guidelines allowed for “exceptional cases” where lengthy community orders with sex offending treatment programmes “may be the best way” to change an offender’s behaviour and protect the public.

He said: “I take the view this is an exceptional case.”

Judge Conrad handed Dalton two years in a young offenders institution, suspended for two years, plus a four month home curfew from 9pm to 6am.

He told him to attend a rehabilitation course for 35 days, sign on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years, and imposed a five-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.