An 18-year-old Kenilworth man has avoided jail after admitting to having sex with a 14-year-old girl and taking indecent pictures of her.
Patrick Deeley had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of sexual activity with a child, one of making indecent images of her and one of causing or inciting her to engage in sexual activity.
Judge Andrew Lockhart QC imposed a 12-month community order, with a rehabilitation activity, 200 hours of unpaid work, and a 7pm to 7am curfew for two months. He said it was close to the threshold of a jail sentence.
Prosecutor Peter Cooper said the offences took place last year, at a time when Deeley was 17 and the girl was 14.
Mr Cooper said that although Deeley admitted having sex with the girl when they met, he was initially ‘less than honest’ about his knowledge of her age.
He added: “Although he tried to say he believed she was 16, when evidence from his phone was put to him, he accepted he knew throughout that she was not.”
The phone also contained 21 indecent images, all believed to be of the same girl, classed as being in category C, showing her in naked or indecent poses.
Mr Cooper said: “They were explicitly-posed images. He maintained they were all selfies taken by her, although it seems two of them involved him having taken them, images of her and showing the hand of the taker.”
Messages on the phone included texts of a sexual nature and the sending of indecent images, some of them unsolicited and some which he had asked for.
Deeley also accepted meeting the girl and having sex with her, said Mr Cooper, who commented that there was a three-year disparity in their ages.
Colin Charvil, defending, said: “Mr Deeley was clearly 17 when these offences were committed. He’s not someone you would describe as a sexual predator, or someone with an unhealthy interest in young girls.”
“If he had been dealt with when he was 17, he would have been dealt with in the youth court and been given a referral order. The equivalent in this court is a community order.”
Judge Lockhart, who had earlier said Deeley needed ‘help to understand that behaviour of this type is entirely wrong,’ said the rehabilitation activity should involve one-on-one sessions to deal with his attitude towards young girls.
The judge told Deeley: “It is plain you knew shortly thereafter, if not at the start, that she was 14.
“I accept this was with consent, and that you messaged her and you were provided with photographs she had taken, and also which you had taken of her.
“This reference to her is pretty unappealing, and you need help considering whether that is an appropriate way to go through life. It is very serious conduct, and it was between you and a girl three years your junior.
“This case is close to the custody threshold. But you have no previous convictions, and you are still a very young man.”