22-year-old man jailed for sexual activity with a child - St Albans


A young man who twice had sex with an underage girl has today, Thursday, 20 March 2014, been jailed for two years.

Ashley Bond took the 14-year-old girl to a Travel Lodge Hotel in Borehamwood where they had sex.  Then days later they had sex in his bedroom at his home.

At St Albans Crown Court, Bond, 22, of Bourton Close, Stoke Lodge, Bristol, pleaded guilty to two offences of sexual activity with the girl.

Sally Mealing-McLeod prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the first offence happened on 30 November 2012.

The court heard there had been text messaging between the pair in the days leading up to the offence.  The girl and a friend had arranged to go to the cinema in Borehamwood together and it was decided the defendant, who at the time was living in Hatfield, would meet them outside a Nando's and go with them.  All three went to the cinema, but the prosecutor said they all left early.  At a nearby Tesco store alcohol was bought.

The defendant then booked a room at the Hotel and they made their way on foot and went to the room.  There, said Miss Mealing-McLeod, they watched TV and were drinking. She said there was also some hugging and kissing taking place, but it was when the victim's friend was out of the room that Bond had sex with her.  The girls eventually left the hotel around 4am that morning after parents collected them.

The court heard on 03 December the defendant had sex with the girl at his home in Hatfield.  Again, said the prosecutor, it was entirely consensual on the the girl's part, but she was to tell police officers later that Bond understood she was 15 on the first occasion and 14 on the second.

Angela Kerner defending said in the days leading up to the first offence, Bond had thought the girl was older and it was just before they had gone into the hotel that she told him she was 15.  The barrister said on the second occasion he knew she was 14.  She said Bond had been ignorant of the law and wrongly had thought that if the girl was consenting "it would be all right."  She added: "Of course he was wrong about that."

The court heard that Bond had left school with three A levels and six GCSE qualifications.  But he suffered ill health in the past with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and had been prescribed anti depressants.

Judge Steven Warner told him: "These are serious offences. She was 14 and she was vulnerable and you took advantage of that for your own gratification on two separate occasions."

He jailed Bond for two years and made him the subject of a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO). His name will also go on the sex offenders' register for the next 10 years.

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