Source: Daily Mail
A man who admitted raping a 12-year-old schoolgirl walked free from court after convincing a judge she tricked him into believing she was an adult.
Barman Michael Graham, 25, met the girl through a social networking website.
She had posted pictures of herself on the site and her web profile said she was a 19-year-old college student and single mother who enjoyed drinking and having sex.
The girl was inundated with offers from admiring men, but only replied to Graham because he was the best looking, Leeds Crown Court was told.
They arranged to meet and went to Graham’s flat where they watched television, drunk vodka and beer and smoked skunk cannabis, the court heard Graham and the girl had ‘consensual sex’ four times during the overnight stay, but he admitted four counts of rape because legally a child under 13 cannot consent to sexual activity with an adult.
Well she obviously bloody did consent didn’t she? Not only was she willing, she sought him out, and what does smoking skunk have to do with this? She obviously consented to that too. I guess the author thought they could attack the drug through association while they are at it.
The girl’s parents thought she was staying overnight at a friend’s house and called police when she didn’t return home the next day.
She picked up a morning after pill after leaving the flat at 5pm and by the time she got home her parents had found her incriminating website on the family computer and she admitted the truth.
After hearing the full background the judge took a sympathetic view towards Graham and gave him a 12-month conditional discharge.
Judge Jennifer Kershaw, QC, said there was a ‘striking’ contrast between how the girl looked in school uniform while giving video evidence to police and the image she used of herself on her personal website.
Explaining the sentence to the court, she said:’I accept the defendant did not know how old this girl was. I accept he did not know she was under the age of 16, still less did he know she was in fact 12.
Once upon a time a man could reasonably guess a female’s age. Now, with the proliferation of make-up, provocative clothes, young people being used sexually as models etc, the lines have blurred.
‘It seems to me that this defendant was deceived. He was deceived in a number of material respects, both beforehand and during their encounter. Continue reading