Man jailed for hav­ing sex with girl, 14

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By WIL­LIAM SMITH

A CITY man who had sex three times with a girl of 14 has been jailed for four years.

IT worker Steven Martin (24), of Duns­berry, Bret­ton, Peter­bor­ough, pleaded guilty on Thurs­day at Chelms­ford Crown Court to three of­fences of sex­ual ac­tiv­ity with the girl, who is from the Har­low area of Es­sex.

The court heard that the girl had con­sented to sex. But Judge Rodger Hay­ward Smith QC said this was im­ma­te­rial be­cause she was un­der­age.

He said: “There was sub­stan­tial groom­ing of the girl. You went to con­sid­er­able lengths to groom her, at one point send­ing up to 50 text mes­sages a day.

“Whether or not she was a will­ing re­cip­i­ent is nei­ther here nor there. The fact is she was a child and you were an adult.”

He added that Martin, who was 23 at the time, had also at­tempted to iso­late the com­plainant from her friends and par­ents and had re­ceived a po­lice cau­tion for bat­tery to­wards her.

Pros­e­cu­tor Richard Scott said the pair met at a party in April 2008 and be­gan ex­chang­ing texts and phone calls. The girl’s par­ents be­came concerned.

In Oc­to­ber 2009, the girl com­plained to po­lice that Martin was ha­rass­ing her. In Novem­ber, she said he had raped her but she later re­tracted the al­le­ga­tion and told po­lice she had con­sented to sex with him three times.

Once it took place at Martin’s home – while his par­ents were on hol­i­day – and twice at his friends’ homes.

Mr Scott added that af­ter a con­dom split on one oc­ca­sion, they went to a clinic for a morn­ing af­ter pill.

Mit­i­gat­ing for Martin, Clare Ashcroft said: “She was only 14 and he ac­cepts that what he did was wrong.”

She de­scribed him as emo­tion­ally im­ma­ture, adding: “His ex­pe­ri­ence of the out­side world is fairly limited.”

Martin has been barred from work­ing with chil­dren and must tell po­lice his ad­dress for the rest of his life.

The judge also made an or­der ban­ning him from con­tact­ing the girl un­til 2015, when she reaches the age of 19.

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