Teenager given suspended sentence for sex with 14-year-old girl

Leeds combined court centre.
Leeds combined court centre.

A teenager was spared jail after admitting two counts of sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl.

Sam Hawley, of Grange Road, Batley, was 18 at the time of the offences.

A court heard that after being warned to stay away from the girl they had sex again the following month.

Sentencing Hawley at Leeds Crown Court this week, Judge Neil Clark said: “Your victim was a girl of 14 years of age. You were 18 when you became involved in a relationship and you were always aware of her age.”

Graham Parkin, mitigating, said: “It is not an offence that could be in any way described to be predatory.

“There is no getting away from the fact he knew her age but he spent a considerable amount of time telling her to surrender herself, knowing that he would be arrested.”

He said that this was Hawley’s only sexual offence and was not the “tip of the iceberg”.

The court heard that Hawley, now 19, began a relationship with the girl and they had sex four months later.

The police were informed, and a pair of his boxer shorts were taken as evidence and he was told to not contact the girl.

A month later the girl saw Hawley again, after telling her parents she was staying at a female friend’s house, and they had sex a second time.

Mr Parkin said Hawley encouraged the girl to contact her parents, even though he knew he would have to face serious consequences.

They had sent each other explicit text messages that Judge Clark described as “a mutual exchange of desires”.

The court heard that Hawley did not put pressure on the girl to have sex and that she felt “safe” with him.

Judge Clark told Hawley that the girl was vulnerable because of her age but she was not targeted for this reason.

He said there was a line between childhood and adulthood.

Hawley pleaded guilty to the offences at the earliest opportunity and was given a one-year sentence suspended for two years, 200 hours unpaid work and subjected to an order preventing him from contacting the girl until she is 18.