September 2010

Prison term for man who had sex with 13-year-old girl

A 32-YEAR-OLD ‘loner’ has been sent to prison for 32 months for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

Kevin Nicholls, of Kiln Orchard, Newton Abbot, got drunk with the girl before engaging in sexual activity, Exeter Crown Court was told.

The painter and decorator, who had no previous convictions, was sentenced after previously admitting one count of sexual activity with a child.

The judge said Nicholls had indulged his ‘sexual fantasies’ about her.

Prosecutor Bathsheba Cassel told the court the offence took place between June 14 and July 14 last year when Nicholls received a telephone call from the girl and took her back to his flat.

He admitted what had happened and the police arrested him last July.

He made full admissions of his crime to police in interviews, saying he was drunk at the time and he did not know the girl was only 13.

Miss Cassel said the defendant had also made indecent images of the child.

In interviews the victim said she was having counselling for the incident.

Mitigating, Paul Dentith said Nicholls had never been in a relationship with a woman and was something of a ‘loner’.

He said on the day of the offence contact had been initiated by the victim.

Mr Dentith said the girl’s mother had found out about the incident after becoming concerned about her daughter’s drinking and staying out at night.

Since the incident, Nicholls has found a steady partner and was a different character, said Mr Dentith.

Sentencing, Judge Philip Wassall said there was no indication of grooming.

He said: “You are drunk and she is drunk and you take advantage of her in the way you did.

“This is a very serious specified sexual offence.

“There were no threats, no coercion and you hadn’t targeted the victim.”

He said the offence was so serious custody could not be avoided.

Nicholls was sentenced to 32 months and told he would have to serve half of that in prison.

He was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register and abide by the terms of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

After the hearing, Detective Constable Matt Bourne, of the child exploitation unit, said: “The sentence recognises the seriousness of the offence.

“Hopefully the girl and her family can now get on with their lives.”