April 2016

Watchet man given suspended sentence for sexual activity with underage girl

A man who engaged in sexual activity with a teenage girl has narrowly avoided being sent to prison.

Chay Towells, 21, of West Street in Watchet, admitted one charge of sexual activity with a 15-year old girl at his home in West Somerset.

He was given a one-year prison sentence suspended for one year when he appeared before Taunton Crown Court last week.

The court heard that Towells, who was 20 at the time the offence was committed, had been seeing a 15-year-old girl and they had met on multiple occasions.

The court heard that after the mother of the girl found out about the pair meeting up, she told them both that they were not allowed to see each other any more, and warned them to stay away from each other.

Prosecuting, Nikki Coombes said that on the day of the incident in April 5, last year, the girl had lied to her mother, saying she was going to meet friends but instead, she went to Towells’ home instead.

The court heard that while the two watched television, Towells sexually assaulted the girl on the sofa, before they left and had sexual intercourse in another part of the flat. 

Sentencing, Recorder David Bartlett said: “You have pleaded guilty to an act of penetrative activity with a girl you knew well had an age of just 15.

“You pleaded guilty on February 26 of this year and you get full credit for doing so.

“The incident took place on April 5, you were then 20. 

“I have seen a pre-sentence report and it is clear to me that you have a low intelligence quota of 70.

“I take that into account but this is a serious offence.

“It is exacerbated by the fact the victim’s mother directed you not to contact each other.”

Judge Bartlett sentenced Towells to one year imprisonment which will be suspended for two years.

Recorder Bartlett also ordered Towells to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, and he will also be placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Recorder Bartlett added: “I consider this to be a pretty lenient sentence for this offence.”