A 19-year-old man who had sex with an underage girl has been spared jail by a judge who said all young men “think they’re invincible.”
Hayden Clarke, 19, met the 14-year-old girl through Facebook and had sex with her twice after sending her explicit pictures.
He met the girl while he was the subject of a probation order for a burglary.
Clarke, of Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham, admitted two charges of sexual activity with a child on the basis he believed the girl was aged 15 at Warwick Crown Court on Monday.
He was given a two-year community order, with a 30-day rehabilitation activity, made subject to a 7pm-7am electronically-tagged curfew for four months.
He was also ordered to sign the sex offender’s register for five years.
Judge Andrew Lockhart said: “Here is a boy who said he was 17 to a girl he thought at the time was 15, and they had consensual sex on two occasions.
“I do not say this case doesn’t cross the custody threshold, but I am shrinking back from that.
“This court sees a lot of young men like you.
“We have all been young men, and we all think we’re invincible at times – but we’re not.
“There comes a time when you have to listen, and listen hard, and that time is now.
“Your life is at a complete crossroads. It could go one way or another.
“You committed a burglary, and the court passed an order on you which you ignored because you thought you knew best.
“During the course of the order you got involved with a girl who was younger than you, and who you knew was younger.
“She says when you were told she was not 16, you were shocked – but it didn’t stop you. You went to her mother’s home and you had sexual intercourse with her.
“It is about time you listened to people who try to help you.”
Prosecutor Harpreet Sandhu said Clarke had met the girl on Facebook early last year, and they began communicating through that site and other social media.
During their chats Clarke, who was 18 at the time but said he was 17, asked if she would have sex with him and perform oral sex, but she refused.
He then sent her three images depicting sexual activity in three positions, asking her if she would take part in any of them, but she said she would not.
Despite that, he travelled to Bedworth, Warks., to see her, and on a subsequent visit, while her mother was out, they went up to her bedroom where they had sex twice.
After the first occasion the girl pulled the duvet over her, and Clarke left the room, but then returned and they had sex again before they were interrupted by friends of hers arriving at the house.
Later the girl confided in one of her friends about what had happened, and that girl reported what she had been told to their school, which led to the police being called.