May 2019: Now living in Hendon, Sunderland

June 2016

Caithness man jailed for having sex with underage schoolgirl

budge

A Caithness man has been jailed for repeatedly having sex with an underage schoolgirl – despite knowing how old she was.

Martin Budge first met his young victim when she had just started secondary school.

And over the course of a year the 21-year-old met her at locations in Wick and Thurso to have sex.

The pair also exchanged intimate pictures of one another via their mobile phones.

And their meetings only came to and end when the teenager discovered Budge was on bail after being accused of serious sex offences.

Those allegations have since been dropped by the Crown.

Yesterday, Budge appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted having sex with a minor between February 2014 and January the following year.

He also admitted possessing indecent images of children as well as causing a child to look at a sexually explicit image.

Fiscal depute Kelly Mitchell said Budge would often meet the young girl in the woods near Wick Airport and on a few occasions they stayed at the home of one of his victim’s friends.

Miss Mitchell said the child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, eventually told her mother about the relationship and Budge was reported to the police.

The court heard the girl had always been a willing participant and that Budge, of 1 Toutie Street, Alyth, had no previous convictions of a similar nature.

Sheriff William Summers told him: “It is of great concern that you had a sexual relationship with his girl during a time when she was only 14 over the period of 12 months.

“At that time you were four or five years older than her. I can’t and I do not accept that at any point you did not know she was underage.

“You were aware of that and just carried on with complete disregard for her age.”

Sheriff Summers said that any recommendation to place Budge on a community payback order was “not appropriate” given the “gravity of the offences”.

He jailed Budge for 12 months and placed him on the sex offenders register for 10 years.