January 2018

Man jailed after “taking advantage” of girl he made pregnant

FRIENDS of a man who made a girl in her early teens pregnant shouted “She’s a liar” as he was jailed after admitting sex offences.

Supporters of Jesse Legg were warned to keep quiet by Judge Peter Crabtree OBE on Friday afternoon as the defendant, 23, was given a sentence of four years and four months.

Legg, of Knowles Close in Christchurch, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a child under the age of 16 and appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court for sentence.

The abuse came to light when the victim went to her mother and said she had been the victim of abuse by the defendant.

She was then discovered to be pregnant.

As a result of the abuse, the girl suffers with post-traumatic stress disorder and has made several attempts to take her own life.

Before beginning his sentencing remarks, Judge Crabtree warned that nothing must be published which could identify the victim.

“That includes people in the public gallery. Nothing must be put on Facebook or other social media,” he said.

“The case came to light in April 2017 when the victim disclosed to her family that she’d had sexual intercourse with [the defendant].

“Her mother insisted on a pregnancy test. It was positive.”

After learning the girl had spoken to her family, Legg called 999 to report the girl was making “false allegations” against him, it was heard.

Judge Crabtree said he counted Legg’s lie as an aggravating feature of the case.

A police video interview with the victim was also played to the court.

In it, she said her life had been “torn apart” and she was “struggling to get it back together”.

Her pregnancy was terminated.

The abuse “confused, upset and embarrassed” the victim, Judge Crabtree said.

“These offences have had a severe and ongoing psychological impact [on the victim],” he told Legg.

“You have taken advantage of her for your own sexual gratification.”

As well as the prison sentence, the defendant will be subject to notification requirements for an indefinite period of time. He must also comply with a sexual harm prevention order until further order is made.

Judge Crabtree said he would not be ordering that Legg pay compensation.

“I cannot quantify compensation given the harm caused to this victim,” he said.

As the judge made his sentencing remarks, a court usher saw one of Legg’s friends holding aloft a mobile phone in the public gallery.

The officer in the case seized the phone and checked it to ensure it hadn’t been used to record any of the hearing.

Its sobbing owner returned to the court to be spoken to by Judge Crabtree, who told her if any recordings had been made, or were posted online in the future, she would commit a criminal offence.

“You will find yourself arrested and brought back here to be dealt with,” he said.