Man has sex with girl but avoids prison

A 20-YEAR-OLD Gladstone man who had sex with a 13-year-old girl has avoided jail-time.

The man, who is now 21, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton District Court today to one count of unlawful carnal knowledge of a child under 16 which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years.

The court heard the incident occurred last year when a mutual friend of the defendant and the complainant introduced the pair at the defendant's home.

The three of them were talking in the defendant's bedroom, but their friend later left the home leaving the victim behind.

When the girl told the defendant she was 13 years old, he lied and told her he was 18.

The pair began having sex, but he stopped when she asked him to as she was uncomfortable with the age difference.

Their mutual friend returned to the home and the girl told them about the sex as she was concerned the defendant didn't use a condom.

Her friend confirmed with him that he did use a condom and later made a complaint to police.

The defendant has an unrelated criminal history and was on probation at the time of the offence for stealing two tyres with a co-offender.

He also committed two more offences while on bail, including drunkenly threatening his father with an axe.

Judge Michael Burnett described the incident as "isolated", but having a "significant impact" on the complainant.

He was sentenced to nine month suspended prison sentence with an operational period of two years.



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