Scarborough man 'took advantage of an extremely-drunk girl' says judge; but his good character has kept him out of jail after he admitted under-age sex

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A man who had sex with an under-age teen girl has been spared prison due to his unblemished past.

Joseph Bailey, 21, from Scarborough, knew the girl was under-age and was warned to stay away from her by a friend after messaging her on Facebook, a court heard.

But he ignored the advice and had sex with her despite knowing she was under the legal age of consent.

Prosecutor Andrew Espley said Bailey and the victim first met after conversing on social media.

“They stayed in touch on Facebook,” he added. “Some of these messages indicate that Mr Bailey wanted to meet her again.”

On the second occasion, in June 2017, they met at a house party and Bailey “was aware that she was (under-age)”, added Mr Espley.

The victim, who was “vulnerable” on the night in question after drinking vodka and sambuca, went into a bedroom with Bailey and had sex with him.

The following month, she told her sister about the incident and police were informed. Bailey was arrested on July 24 but declined to answer police questions, but ultimately admitted one count of sexual activity with a child.

Bailey, of Auborough Street, Scarborough, appeared for sentence at York Crown Court on Monday. The court heard that Bailey had been “sofa-surfing” at a property in York when the incident took place.

But Mr Espley said there was no suggestion that Bailey had anything to do with the teenager being very drunk and added that he was a man of previous good character.

Defence barrister Susannah Proctor said that Bailey, who was also drunk on the night in question, was working full-time and had moved away from the area where the incident took place “because of significant difficulties as a result of all his friends knowing about this incident”.

She said it was an “unplanned incident” and Bailey had shown “significant remorse”.

Judge Simon Hickey said Bailey had “taken advantage of an extremely-drunk girl” and told him: “You are an older adult: you should have known better.”

However, the judge said he didn’t deem Bailey to be a danger to the public and his lack of previous convictions attested to this.

He said that “strong personal mitigation” meant that he could suspend the inevitable jail sentence.

The 12-month prison sentence was suspended for two years. The order includes a 33-day sexual-offenders’ programme and 15-day rehabilitation course.

In addition, Bailey was ordered to sign on the sex-offenders’ register for seven years.