27-year-old Carl Hodgson lost his home and job after he spent the night with a 12-year-old girl who pretended to be 19 years old. The office worker has been jailed for two and a half years.
Hodgson took the schoolgirl to his apartment after he met her on a popular dating app, not realizing she used a fake profile and claimed she was ‘experienced.’
The 27-year-old admitted to carrying out sex acts on her and took photos of her in a body stocking. He wrote: “Mine was decent, nailed that bird, unreal bod.”
Hodgson was arrested one month after the 12-year-old’s mother found she had logged onto his home WiFi and informed the authorities.
He said he was not aware of the girl’s real age and claimed it was she who wanted to go back to his apartment.
The girl admitted posing as a 19-year-old and also said the office worker did not know her real age.
Hodgson admitted to having sexual activity with a child, taking and sharing indecent photos, and was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.
He was also banned from talking to girls under 16 without permission from their parents for 7 years and not allowed to sleep or live in the same household with a child under 16.
Judge David Stockdale told him: “You have expressed regret and remorse of your actions and I consider your remorse and regret to be genuine.
“Whilst she was 12 at the time of these events, you did not believe that to be the case.
“You took the complainant to your flat and you in due course spent the night with her and caused her to pose indecently for your own gratification. You were to boast later that you had sexual activity though it is fact you had not.
“The complainant was by reason of her age highly vulnerable to exploitation and she was no doubt impressed by you.
“This is most serious offending as you will now have appreciated. The effects on a child of such a young age of offending of this sort are well known and well documented, and these effects will last for the rest of the child victim’s life.
“I noted in the victim personal statement of the mother which I have read, she speak of how her daughter is in a withdrawn state, her lack of cooperation and her silence. The statement from the social worker which I have read, speaks of the complainants guarded nature and her unwillingness to discuss events and her part in this case.
“It’s inevitable, she will suffer in the long term as a result of your offending.”
Prosecutor Justin Hayhoe said: “He says he met the her through a dating application and her personal profile was over the age of consent. It stated she was experienced and he regarded their meeting as a date.
“At her suggestion they went back to his flat. They drank a single alcohol drink. He said they went into his bedroom, removed their clothing, she removed her own and she believed she was over 18.”
He added: “He didn’t believe he was talking to a child who was under 18. When they spent the night at his property, he believed she was over 18.
“But the complainant was 12 and the defendant was 27 at the time. The Crown say there was a significant difference between their two ages.
“She presented herself on her social media profile as someone over the age of 16. She did say a meeting took place at the defendants flat and she maintained to the police that the defendant thought her age was 19 rather than 12.”
Mr. Hayhoe added: “Police officers attended his address and images were recovered in his mobile phone including a moving image of the complainant posing in a body stocking. He sent one image to his friend and a message stating: ‘mine was decent, nailed that bird, unreal bod’. He also said she was ‘filth’.
“The girl declined to give details of what took place and hasn’t provided a victim impact statement. She remained in the property over night when she was vulnerable.
“She told him she was 19 years of age rather than her true age and he reasonably believed the victim to be older than she was.”
Defense lawyer Alexander Leach said: “Carl Hodgson was not aware he was engaging in sexual activity with a child and he did not intend to engage in sexual activity with a child. He could not anticipate the vulnerability of the child or the disparity in age.
“He must have known she was significant younger than him, but he believed her to be older than 16. If he had been aware, he would not have deemed it appropriate to take her to the apartment and provide her with alcoholic drinks.
“He has lost his employment, his home and he has the stigma which comes with offending of this sort.
“There is no evidence this defendant sought out children for sexual gratification. It wasn’t his intention to commit the offense – it’s been a frightening experience for him.”
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