March 2005

Judge tags man who had sex with girl

A MAN who had sex with an underage girl was ordered to be electronically tagged and put on the sex offenders register for five years.

Steven Taylor, 22, was spared jail by a judge after admitting unlawful sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl.

Taylor, of Francis Terrace, Bishop Auckland, had sex with the girl outdoors.

Teesside Crown Court heard that his victim then “bottled” the crime up and was not able to tell her family until more than a month later.

Rod Hunt, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was at the very least reckless and turned a blind eye to the obvious.”

Chris Baker, for Taylor, said he had drunk too much and showed signs of immaturity.

He said: “He has a record of anti-social behaviour which he is doing everything in his power to address.

“The person who stands before you today is not the immature young man he previously was.”

Judge Peter Bowers told Taylor: “Normally, you would go to prison for this. However, if you do go to prison I cannot put you on a sex offenders treatment programme, which is what you need.”

He said Taylor would instead serve a three-year community rehabilitation order and have to observe a curfew for the next six months, during which time he would be tagged.

Two further charges of unlawful sex and one of indecent assault against Taylor will lie on file.