Teenager convicted for having s3x with girl, 15, when he was 18
A teenager will be on the sex offenders’ register for the next 10 years after a judge heard that he had what was described as ‘consensual sex’ with a 15-year-old girl.
Gavin Bywater was 18 when he had intercourse with the girl and was described in court as not being a predator or a risk to children or girls.
Teeside Crown Court heard that the couple had intercourse three times in the space of two days and they knew one another’s ages.
When arrested at college, Bywater confessed immediately.
He said he had broken off his association with the girl because of the age gap between them and his own mental difficulties.
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said in a statement she no longer felt safe.
She said Bywater did not frighten her but she was upset, angry, had lost friends, was less sociable and no longer used social media.
Bywater, of Southfield Road, central Middlesbrough, admitted three charges of sexual activity with a child.
He was spared jail after his lawyer, Sean Grainger, told the court that he had mental health problems, was immature, did not look 18 and mixed with younger people because of his own maturity level.
He said: ‘He’s a young man who got talking to a girl. It would appear they were attracted to each other.
‘Some days later sexual intercourse did take place. It was consensual. There doesn’t seem to be any element of grooming by him.
‘It was simply two young people getting in contact through social media and eventually leading to having sexual intercourse.
‘He was not trying to hide it. He knew she was underage. He acknowledges that it was a very wrong thing to do. It ended because he felt that she was too young for him.
He added that Bywater showed ‘clear remorse’ and, unusually, owned up as soon as police caught him.
‘You admitted what you’d done. You didn’t seek to place any blame on the young girl.’
Bywater was given an eight-month custodial sentence suspended for two years with 30 days’ rehabilitation activity.
He was given a restraining order banning contact with the girl and will be on the sex offenders’ register, both for 10 years.
He was told he would not be able to work with children or vulnerable adults.