A 24-year-old man has pleaded guilty to the persistent sexual abuse of a young person and had 12 months added to a prison stint he is serving.
The man, who will not be named to protect the identity of his victim, had a seven-month sexual relationship with a teenager which ended in January this year.
They met in early 2019 when she was aged 15 years, 11 months, Supreme Court Justice Robert Pearce told the Burnie Supreme Court on Friday.
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“You admitted that although you initially thought she was 17, you knew her real age by the time you started having sex,” Justice Pearce said.
“All of the sexual intercourse was consensual, but on no occasion did you wear a condom and no form of birth control was used.
“The result was that she very quickly became pregnant.”
Justice Pearce told the court the teenager gave birth in March and said the relationship between the two was “uncertain” as a result of his imprisonment.
The man was jailed in May for charges relating to violence and dishonesty, Justice Pearce said.
The court heard the relationship between the two was consensual, and the man readily admitted his conduct to police and entered an early plea of guilty.
“The relationship between you and the complainant arose from mutual affection, and the sexual intercourse was consensual,” Justice Pearce said.
“There is no indication that she was pressured or forced to participate or was overborne.”
However, the judge said it was aggravating that the man never wore condoms and birth control was not used, which resulted in both pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.
“You were well aware at the time of the wrongfulness of your conduct,” he said.
“In cases like this, the main purpose of this law is to protect young people from sexual activity until they are old enough and mature enough to make sensible decisions on their own behalf.
Young persons often require protection from themselves.
Justice Robert Pearce
“Young persons often require protection from themselves.
“Her child will hopefully be loved and cared for, but the responsibility of parenthood for a person as young as the complainant is a heavy one.”
Justice Pearce sentenced the man to a further 12 months imprisonment but ordered he be eligible for parole after six months, and that three months of the sentence be served concurrently with his current term.
The man will therefore serve a minimum of three months in jail for the crime.