January 2012

19-year-old had ‘girlfriend’ of 13

A 20-year-old has been given a 12-month community order for sexual offences against a 13-year-old girl.

Gary Spence, of Partridge Drive, Tilehurst, French-kissed the youngster and asked her to allow him to carry out a sexual act on her when he was 19.

Reading Crown Court heard the two considered themselves boyfriend and girlfriend, but Spence had said he wanted to take the relationship further, which the girl refused.

Hilary Neville, prosecuting, said Spence knew the age of the girl because it was on her Facebook page and he had visited her at school.

They had met in July 2010 but the girl involved her parents when the situation started to get out of hand, with Spence sending 100 text messages in one day.

He also sent 15 letters which included requests to indulge in sexual activity. The police were called in October and Spence was given a harassment warning.

He was arrested in April 2011 after a family friend saw the two secretly meeting and told the girl’s mother.

Spence admitted kissing the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, and writing the letters, but said there had been no sexual activity and he would not have done anything with her despite what he wrote.

Graeme Logan, defending, said: “[The girl] makes it quite clear she had deep feelings for him. This isn’t a case of a young man stalking a vulnerable young girl who acts in defiance of police warnings.”

Judge Zoe Smith sentenced Spence to a 12 month community order with a supervision requirement for sexually kissing an underage girl and inciting an underage girl to engage in sexual activity.

Judge Smith also made a restraining order prohibiting Spence from having any contact with the girl for five years. He also signed the sex offenders register for five years.