Febuary 2012

‘Boy in man’s body’ jailed for under-age sex

A JOBLESS factory worker described as “a boy in a man’s body” was yesterday jailed for two years for having sex with an underage girl.

Karl Clewlow, 23, communicated with the teenager on Facebook before inviting her to his Middlesbrough home, Teesside Crown Court heard.

He took advantage of the girl even after her mother became aware of their contact and warned him off, said Robin Turton, prosecuting.

Rod Hunt, mitigating, said Clewlow was intellectually and emotionally immature, and added: “He is to some extent, a boy in a man’s body. He was not mature enough, intelligent enough and self-disciplined enough to back away. It was immaturity, rather than malicious intent.”

Mr Hunt urged Judge Howard Crowson to impose a suspended sentence, with a strict supervision regime, and said: “He is savable.”

The judge, however, said prison was unavoidable, although adding that he would reduce the term “rather dramatically” because of Clelow’s circumstances.

He said: “You have been repeatedly referred to as a young man, but you are actually 23 and have been entitled to the vote for five years.

“You perpetuated the contact even after her mother found out about it and warned you off.

“She was clearly very frightened and vulnerable, and flattered by your attention… courts have a duty to protect young women like that.

“I accept I am not dealing with a deviant young man, but a slightly immature man for your age, and the probation officer deals with you on the basis that this was selfish immaturity that caused you to act in this way.

“Selfish immaturity only takes you so far. It was selfish immaturity you must have known was wrong.”

Clewlow, of Epworth Green, Middlesbrough, admitted a charge of sexual activity with a child. He was placed on the sex offenders’ register.

Mr Hunt told the court Clewlow initially found it difficult to face up to what he had done and was prepared to face a trial because he was too embarrassed to confess.

He said his legal team “broke through the barrier of immaturity”, and added: “Once he realised the victim would have to give evidence, he would not put her through that.

“That was the first sign of him putting her first, instead of him first. This had been about him putting himself first and he should have known better.”