October 2020

Butane sniffer jailed for under age sex with girl

A butane-sniffing homeless man has been jailed for having sex with a 14-year-old girl in a garden shed.

William Clay, 20, met the girl in the centre of Barnstaple where they started using the gas.

He was living on the streets at the time and decided to go to the shed. They took more butane and ended up having unprotected sex.

Clay boasted to friends about the encounter. Her horrified mother found Clay in the shed the next morning and called the police.

He was already on the sex offenders’ register because he had been cautioned for under age sex with another girl just two months earlier.

The incident had a profound effect on the girl.

Clay, of no fixed address, admitted sexual activity with a child and was jailed for 14 months by Judge Simon Levene at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: ”The victim told you it was a bit weird, you being 19 at the time and she being only 14. I have no doubt that you knew you were doing wrong and it is very likely you knew exactly what the age gap was.

“You told her not to tell anyone what the two of you had done.

“I have no doubt at all you knew you were doing wrong and it seems very likely you knew precisely what the age gap was.

“I have read the victim personal statements of the girl and her mother and they are very, very sad.

Mr Nigel Wraith, prosecuting, said the girl was with a group of friends in the centre of Barnstaple in September last year and they started sniffing gas.

They met up again the next night but it was raining and she suggested they shelter in her shed.

They sniffed more butane and they had sex in what the girl described as ‘a haze’.