April 2011

Two men stole teenage girl’s ‘innocence’ from her

TWO men had unlawful sex with a “besotted” teenage girl and “stole her innocence from her”, a court heard.

Karl Eklund, 25, of Winchester Avenue, Grimsby, admitted two offences of sexual activity with a girl between July 21 and December 31, 2008, and Jonathan Markham, 21, of Laceby Road, Grimsby, admitted one similar offence between May 1 and May 31, 2007. Patrick Palmer, prosecuting, told Hull Crown Court that the two men both had sex with the girl, with her consent, while having relationships with her at different times when she was under 16.

Bernard Gateshill, mitigating, said father-of-two Eklund had a disadvantaged background, but had a decent work record and was working as a gardener at a crematorium.

Simon Hirst, representing Markham, said his client was 17 at the time of the offence. His offending had slowed down, he was working and he regretted his actions.

Judge John Dowse said the girl involved was 14 at the time of the offence with Markham and 15 at the time of those with Eklund. She consented to having sex after “meeting up with” the young men.

Judge Dowse told Markham: “You stole her innocence from her.”

Eklund “blew the whistle” on Markham and, after the girl became “besotted” with Eklund, they exchanged text messages. She had now settled down with another man.

“This is a very serious offence,” said Judge Dowse. “She was a willing participant, but it doesn’t make your culpability any less.”

Eklund was given a one-year suspended prison sentence, an 18-month supervision order and 200 hours’ unpaid work.

Markham was given 150 hours’ unpaid work. Both must pay £250 costs.

Eklund was ordered to register as a sex offender for five years.