Update: Released & living in Kings Lynn area. Links to Manchester, Essex & Kent
Ex-Army bomb disposal expert, 27, had sex with a 15-year-old girl and used her as a drugs mule
A former Army bomb disposal expert has been jailed for having sex with a 15-year-old girl he later used as a drugs mule at a music festival.
Paul Davis, 27, slept with his victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, numerous times during a four-week relationship with her in 2014.
But he was only snared for his crimes when she was caught by security at Brownstock Festival in Essex, in possession of 40 wraps of cannabis.
She described her relationship with Davis to police who later raided his home in Norwich, Norfolk, where they found £300 worth of cannabis.
Prosecutor Stephen Rose told Chelmsford Crown Court: ‘She described a sexual relationship that was taking place between them.
‘The first time that sexual activity took place, he was upset, she had comforted him and that contact led to intercourse between them.
‘She admitted that on a trip to his house, she had flirted with him. She took a drink up to his bedroom, and then described him pulling her down onto the bed and putting his hand down her skirt.
‘She responded “I don’t want to do nothing like this” and she left. She also described feeling unable to report what had happened to police at the time.’
The court heard police seized a phone from Davis’ home and that texts to a second under-age girl, who was 15 at the time, were also discovered.
He initially denied the charges, only to plead guilty to two counts of sexual activity with a child and one of supplying drugs, the day before his trial was due to start in March.
Catherine Bradshaw, representing Davis, told the court her client had believed the first victim to be at least 16 years old when the relationship began.
She said: ‘The group of friends were not all teenagers, some of them were 20 and 21, and Paul Davis says he believed these girls were of a similar age to them.
‘Part way through the relationship, he became aware that she was not 16 but at the outset, he believed she was older.
‘It was consensual in colloquial terms, if not legal terms.’
Ms Bradshaw also described how Davis was going through a ‘low point’ in 2014, with the breakdown of his marriage, struggling to get custody of his children from his ex-partner and a spell of depression.
She added: ‘He turned to cannabis to cope, and then he turned to alcohol. While that does not excuse his actions, I hope it goes some way to explaining the lack of judgement he showed.’
The court heard how after leaving the armed forces in 2011, Davis lost two jobs and his accommodation when news of his guilty plea reached employers.
He was jailed for three years and nine months yesterday.
Sentencing him, Judge David Turner said: ‘You crossed a boundary which was wholly unacceptable.
‘It was, as far as such activity with a child can be, consensual, there was no force and there may have even been some affection, but what was not acceptable was the power imbalance between you and the girls.
‘You were a man of 26, a father, who has had several adult relationships, and you were taking advantage of children.
‘You were the adult in the situation and it was your duty to protect them from themselves, something which you failed to do.
‘Not only did you take sexual advantage of these girls, but you used one of them as a drugs courier.’
He added: ‘This has hung over them and their families for far too long; cases such as this are not easy to sentence.
‘Your defence has suggested that I suspend the sentence but these matters are too serious for that.
‘I have extended you a measure of mercy.’
Davis will be made to sign the sex offenders’ register, while the drugs will be forfeited and destroyed.