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Teenager groomed 12 year-old before sex
Wednesday, 08 August 2012
AN Axminster man, who had a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old girl, has been sentenced to two years in a young offenders’ institution.
At an earlier hearing, Tomas Speed of Kirby Close, Axminster, aged 19, had admitted three offences of statutory rape of a girl under 13, one of possessing an indecent photograph of her and three of taking indecent images of her.
When he re-appeared at Exeter Crown Court for sentencing on Thursday of last week he was told he must spend two years in a young offenders’ institution.
The two got to know each other on Facebook, and they arranged to meet at Speed’s home in September last year.
Those in court heard Speed being described as “naive and immature” by mental health workers.
He was also described as a loner and he appeared to have become isolated from his friends and family following the death of his father, and later his step-father.
Despite intercourse being consensual, Speed was convicted of statutory rape because his victim was under the age of 13.
Because of her young age, the law deems that she cannot have granted consent.
Richard Crabb, prosecuting, said Facebook conversations quickly took a sexual tone and both knew each other’s ages.
Mr Crabb said there had been an element of grooming and the pair had sex.
One one occasion, speed filmed sex acts with his mobile phone.
The girl’s mother informed police after having discovered footage with a sexual content on her daughter’s phone.
Speed was arrested and immediately confessed.
His defender, Sarah Hornblower, said Speed is very naive and that the girl involved came across as somebody very mature for her age.
Miss Hornblower added: “He sought solace from somebody who approached him on Facebook.
“He was naive and immature.”
The sentence was described as “fair on both parties” by a spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police.
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