Man jailed for having sex with girl, 14
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.