A young Tandragee man who engaged in sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl was given suspended prison sentences on Tuesday at Craigavon Crown Court.
Twenty-one-year-old Aaron William Kinnon, of Ballymore Road, Tandragee, was sentenced to a total of 20 months in custody, suspended for three years.
He was also put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.
Kinnon admitted engaging in sexual touching, which involved penetration, on March 17 last year and causing the girl to be involved in sexual activity on the same date.
Twenty-month suspended terms were imposed for both of these charges.
He also pleaded guilty to two charges that between November 27, 2008, and November 28, 2010, he had in possession an indecent photograph of the girl.
For each of these he was sentenced to 12 months in custody, suspended for three years.
The court heard that at the time of the offences last year the victim was 14 years old and the defendant was 20.
The pictures had been supplied to the defendant by a mobile device.
Judge Patrick Lynch said the offences only came to light several months later when the injured party’s mother found material which she disclosed.
He explained that the defendant had been invited to a party and although she was infatuated with Kinnon it was the “purpose of the law to protect young persons, even from themselves”.
The judge said the victim had other difficulties in her life and the defendant should not have taken advantage of such a vulnerable young person.
But, Judge Lynch added, Kinnon had a clear record, had pleaded guilty and was assessed in a pre-sentence report of not being a danger to members of the public.
He said she was an infatuated young girl but the law required persons of maturity, even aged 20, not to take advantage of such situations.
The judge also agreed it was not a case of ‘grooming a young person’ and alcohol or drugs were not a factor.