May 2016

Sex offender avoids jail after sex with underage girl in graveyard

Cameron Richmond, described by his own barrister as an “idiot”, flirted with and kissed the teenager before taking her into graveyard bushes.

Maidstone Crown Court heard that shortly before having sex with her, a friend told him: “You go away for that kind of thing.”

The girl later told police she felt “reluctant and overborne” by what was happening.

Richmond, 22, of Milstead, admitted sexual activity with a child.

However, his friend’s prediction did not come true as a judge said prison would neither help Richmond nor protect the public.

Instead, he imposed what he described as “no soft option” – 10 months’ jail suspended for two years with a condition that he attends a sex offender treatment programme.

He must sign on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

Judge Julian Smith said: “You need to think about what you did, or you present the most dreadful risk for the future.

“If I lock you up for a short period of time there would not be time for people who are skilled and able to address the risk that you present to work with you.

“You will come out of prison with the same fixed attitudes in your thinking as you have now and you would go out into the community presenting exactly the same risk.

“This is the best chance there is at this stage to address and remedy the risk that you present.”

The court heard Richmond, then aged 21, joined a group of teenagers who had met up and were drinking.

He chatted to the girl before starting to touch her. The pair then kissed and flirted before engaging in what was described as “sexualised behaviour”, before they went into bushes and had sex. It was reported to police the next day.

Richmond maintained sex was consensual and that he did not know she was underage, but he pleaded guilty on the day his trial was due to start.

Judge Smith said the girl’s victim impact statement was “a lesson itself” in the impact of such offending – she felt she was to blame and had lost confidence, self-esteem, and focus at school.

Deborah Charles, defending, said since the offence Richmond had lost contact with his two-year-old daughter, became homeless, lost his job, and was sectioned under the Mental Health Act at the end of 2014.