A convicted paedophile has celebrated after being spared jail for having sex with an underage girl.
Ethan Hewitt aged 20, had been banned from contacting anyone under 16 while an investigation into ‘similar matters’ was being carried out in Leicestershire.
However, he started a sexual relationship with a 15 year old schoolgirl, in February this year after contacting her on Facebook.
During their romance, which took place with the consent of the girl’s mum, Hewitt repeatedly had sex with the teenager while staying at her home for four days, Manchester Crown Court heard.
The court was told the girl’s younger sister was sleeping in the same room where she and Hewitt shared a bed.
He was reported to the authorities by a support worker assigned to his case who overheard him phoning the girl.
Police recovered messages indicating the youngster was expecting Hewitt’s baby.
Hewitt, initially faced a charge of rape but prosecutors accepted a guilty plea to the lesser charge of sexual activity with a child.
He was given 12 months’ detention suspended for 18 months after a judge accepted he was of a ‘similar maturity’ to the girl and was of an ‘extremely low level of general intelligence’.
After the court case on Tuesday, August 10, he could be heard gloating to pals on his phone outside court, saying: ‘I beat the law, I beat the systems and won. I’m not going to prison.’ Metro UK reports.
Prosecutor Hugh Barton said: ‘The defendant was under bail conditions at the time and was prohibited from contacting any children. But a support officer assigned to his case heard the defendant on the phone and she heard two female voices. It seems he was calling this girl who is 15 and her mum.
‘He had been staying with her at her address for the past four days and had slept in the same bed as her over that period of time.
‘The girl later confirmed she knew the defendant and they said they had been communicating via FB for the previous year. They met up at a Tesco store in Manchester and later shared the same bed and undertook in sexual activity. From received text messages it confirms concerns she may be pregnant. In interview, the defendant denied any sexual activity had taken place.
‘He has had a troubled upbringing and childhood. He is very immature and has a low level of functioning. He is a very young and unhappy man who wants a sense of belonging with a family.
‘There are some aggravating features. The risk of pregnancy and he was on bail at the time where he was subject not to have any contact with children. But it seems he has the functioning of a 15-year-old child.’
Defence counsel Colin Buckle said: ‘This was at all times consensual activity, although unlawful. All offences committed against children are serious, but he has no previous convictions or relevant offending.
‘He has extremely low general intelligence and there is a very complex psychological picture. The defendant was staying her address as he is in desperate need of stability. At this time in the defendant’s young life, he is not at high risk.’
Judge Rachel Smith told Hewitt: ‘You stayed at this girl’s home and slept overnight in the same bed with the consent of her mother. You had become friends via social media and you knew the age of her. You were 20 and she was 15. The first time you met in person was when these offences occurred.
‘The prosecution’s case is that there was not any force, intimidation or grooming. It was all consensual and therefore the allegation of rape is not pursued. This is not an abuse of trust case.
‘But this occurred in the presence of another child – the younger sibling of which she shared a room, and she could hear what was happening. You were on bail at the time not to have unsupervised contact with any children under 16.
‘You are under investigation for similar matters in Leicestershire and those investigations are underway. You have no relevant previous convictions. and a all times, the activity, whilst unlawful was consensual. The complainant was nearly 16.
‘Your maturity may not be dissimilar to the victim in this case. You were diagnosed with ADHD in your childhood. From reading the reports, you have an extremely low level of general intelligence, your IQ is 67.
‘I consider you to be a young man with complex care and support needs. You are at a low risk of re-conviction for sexual offences, and you can be managed in the community. I do not find you to be a dangerous offender.’