A MAGISTRATE has jailed a 19-year-old Tamworth man for three-and-a-half years for having sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl.
Magistrate Roger Prowse was scathing in his sentencing of the 19-year-old local, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, in Tamworth Local Court.
The teenager pleaded guilty to five counts of having sexual intercourse with a person over 14 but under 18 – a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.
“Sexual offences against children are wrong in all circumstances,” he said in sentencing.
“You should have known that.”
He was jailed for a minimum of two years and won’t be eligible for parole until at least June, 2019.
The court heard details of the relationship between the 15-year-old girl and the accused, who was 18 at the time of the offending in Tamworth, last year.
The pair met in high-school, and she was two years below.
“A relationship of this sort was wrong,” Mr Prowse said, in reference to the man’s claims he didn’t know she was underage at the time.
“It’s almost undeniable …. knowing that she was in year 9 and you were in year 11 [when they met].”
The court was told the girl moved into the home and was being cared for by his mother and was “vulnerable because she left her home”.
“You were being a supportive friend,” Mr Prowse said.
You were being a supportive friend ... You went on to then abuse that support in the ways in which you did.Magistrate Roger Prowse
“You went on to then abuse that support in the ways in which you did.”
Mr Prowse said it would be “an abrogation of the court’s duty” to impose anything “other than full-time imprisonment”.
He gave him a discount of 20 per cent for relatively early guilty pleas in April.
Mr Prowse said the man appeared in an out-of-sessions in January following his arrest by Oxley detectives and “had been on bail since”.
“Bail was continued because there was no application by the Crown in April,” he said, after the man pleaded guilty.
Bail was continued because there was no application by the Crown in April.Magistrate Roger Prowse
The court heard the young girl went into the teen’s room about 3am on March 7, last year, and they talked and cuddled, and then had “snuggles” about five days later before the first sexual intercourse occurred.
The offending continued the next day when the girl “returned to your room and got into bed with you”, Mr Prowse said.
He said the teenager asked the girl if she trusted him – something “that aggravates the matter”.
“Things progressed” again and the offending continued on March 11, and in the early hours of March 14.
The court heard the teen had a clean record but had social problems and didn’t have much “insight of the impact of the offences on a child”.
Consent clearly can’t be given … because she was 15.Magistrate Roger Prowse
“Consent clearly can’t be given … because she was 15,” Mr Prowse said.
He acknowledged there was no coercion and that the teen “seem[ed] remorseful for the impact on your mother”.