April 2004

Girl, 14, had baby – man sent to jail

A FORMER soldier was jailed for 18 months for sexually abusing a girl of 14 – leaving her pregnant, a court heard.

Michael Pritchard, 39, indecently assaulted the girl in 1998, prosecutor Jennet Treharne told Cardiff crown court yesterday.

As a result, the girl became pregnant and had a child.

Pritchard, of Emlyn Avenue, Ebbw Vale, pleaded guilty to a charge of indecent assault.

After meeting the girl, said Miss Treharne, he had sex with her and she became pregnant.

Matters came to light when she was invited by her family to go on holiday and she told them she was eight months pregnant.

On New Year’s Eve last year, she told her father what had happened and Pritchard was arrested.

The girl, who lives in the Gwent area, currently suffers from depression, Miss Treharne said.

Pritchard’s counsel, Christopher Quinlan, said: “To his credit, he has admitted everything.

“There is no purpose in dealing with the circumstances of the offences. He recognises that what happened was wholly wrong and he is full of remorse and regret.”

Judge John Griffith Williams told Pritchard: “You were 34 and she was 14 at the time.

“She conceived and gave birth to a child as a consequence. With the DNA evidence you had no alternative but to plead guilty.

“The sentence must contain a deterrent element.”

Pritchard was ordered on release to register as a sex offender for ten years.