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Man dodges jail for child sex


A man who carried on a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl has walked free from the Supreme Court at Burnie on a suspended sentence.

The man, who can't be named, was in his early twenties when he moved into the girl's mother's unit and began the offending early last year.

Police went on to arrest him three times, twice while he was in breach of previous bail conditions. 

"Police warned the defendant that their age difference would make any sexual relationship illegal, and that would remain the situation until she was 17 years old," said Justice Stephen Estcourt in sentencing.

The court heard disturbing details of the relationship's abusive nature.

"In or around 9 March, the complainant met with a community service worker with Anglicare. The complainant told her that two days earlier, she had had a fight with the defendant, after she had cut herself with a razor. She made a number of cuts and was bleeding. The complainant told her that she had gone into the lounge room and apologised to her mother. This was not the first time that the complainant had cut herself.

"The defendant became aware of what occurred and returned to the unit. The complainant told the support worker that the defendant hit her and called her stupid for cutting herself."

He's pleaded guilty to the relationship and also procuring an indecent act by a young person after she sent him videos.

The man's lawyer argued his residual drug-induced psychosis gave him auditory hallucinations and he was unable to reflect on right and wrong.

He was given nine months prison suspended and two years on the sex offenders register.