November 2016

Care leaver who forced 14-year-old girl to have abortion is jailed


A care leaver has been jailed after he made a 14-year-old girl pregnant and threatened to kill the unborn child unless she had an abortion.

Thomas Montgomery was still 17 and living in a succession of care homes in Devon when he met the girl in Exeter and started a sexual relationship with her.

She became pregnant within weeks but had an abortion and carried on sleeping with him, Exeter Crown Court was told.

His behaviour became increasingly bullying and the relationship ended after her mother called in the police. He lived near her home and on one occasion intercepted her as she walked to school in uniform and took her to his room where he demanded sex.

Montgomery, now aged 18, was originally arrested for rape but was prosecuting for having under age sex after the girl told police she had ‘frozen’ and acceded to his demands.

He has been in the care system since he was 12 and had been in homes in Exeter, Tiverton, Taunton, and North Devon.

Montgomery, who has been living at a bail hostel in Camborne, Cornwall, while awaiting sentence, admitted five offences of sexual activity with a child and was sent to a Young Offenders Institution for 12 months.

Recorder Mr Richard Stead told him:”I accept this started off as an affectionate relationship and to that degree there was an element of consent. It is clear it deteriorated in the later stages and that caused significant distress and suffering to the victim.

“You literally took no care to return affection and engaged in unprotected sex which led to a pregnancy and an abortion. These offences are of such seriousness there can only be an immediate sentence.

“In view of the length of time the relationship continued and the offences were committed and your threatening behaviour in the latter stages and the full impact on the victim, there must be immediate custody.”

Mr Lee Bremridge, prosecuting, said the relationship started in 2015 when the girl was 14 and ended in September when her mother called in the police.

He said:”The girl described how in June she told him she was pregnant and from that point his attitude changed. He told her to get an abortion and if she did not he would kill the baby himself.

“Although she was confused about what she should do, she went ahead with the abortion. In the months that followed she tried to end the relationship but he refused, telling her it wasn’t an option.

“She tried to avoid him but he was moved to an address close to her house and he would pester her as she walked past. The sexual relationship continued and intercourse was never forced.

“However, she described a time when he wanted to have sex and she was reluctant and he violently punched the wall of his bedroom and she was understandably scared.

“He started asking her for money and saying things she found threatening. He involved her in drink and drugs.

“Shortly before the police became involved, she was walking to school when he shouted from his window and she went inside. She described him as being on something and wanting to have sex.

“We accept she was not prevented from leaving his room or forced to have sex but she described doing so when she felt uncomfortable about it and says she just froze and let it happen.

“She said she felt trapped in the relationship and thought that was the way it was going to be for the rest of her life. She says she cared for him but now realises how much he used her.”

Mr Joss Ticehurst, prosecuting, said the age gap between the two was only three years and at the start they both believed they were in love.

He said Montgomery had a very difficult background in the care system, where he had been since the age of 12 without achieving any stability in his life or developing the normal social and emotional skills of someone his age.