May 2019

Pervert, 19, who had sex with vulnerable 14-year-old when she was in care avoids jail after judge says girl seduced HIM on Snapchat

A pervert who had sex with a vulnerable 14-year-old he met on Snapchat has been spared jail after a judge said the girl had expressed a wish to meet and sleep with him.

Daniel Hayes, 21, had sex with the teenager after he ‘closed his mind’ to the fact she might be underage.

Police were alerted when the girl confided to carers about meeting Hayes for sex and he was arrested.

Hayes, of Coventry, admitted sexual activity with a child and was given a ten-month sentence, suspended for two years at Warwick Crown Court on Wednesday.

He was also ordered to complete a 100-day sex offender programme and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.

Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: ‘She was 14 years old, and you were aware it was likely she was under 16.

‘She was also a child in care, and therefore vulnerable in another way.

‘I accept you did not know that, but if you have sex with an under-16-year-old, it is a risk you take.

‘She expresses a wish to meet you and have sex with you.

‘There is no indication in the messages that she’s under pressure.

‘To start with the requests all came from her, but towards the end you very foolishly agree to meet her in order to have sex.

‘The reason this is a serious offence is because she was a child.

‘If she was 16 you would not be committing any offence at all.

‘But children of that age are protected for a reason, no matter how mature they seem.

Judge Sylvia de Bertodano questioned why the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) brought O’Keefe to court, saying: ‘I don’t know what the world has come to when I am asked to deal with two teenagers who got drunk and had sex.’

Judge de Bertodano sentenced O’Keefe to a one-month conditional discharge and ordered him to register as a sex offender for two weeks.

She said: ‘So what I’m dealing with is consensual sex between two teenagers.

‘I have to deal with this on the basis that a 17-year-old had sex with a girl who was almost 16, and they had both had too much to drink. What are we doing here?’

The judge told O’Keefe: ‘If it had been rape, that would have been a different matter. I feel extremely sorry for you having to end up in this position.’

The defendant had been cleared of rape after his plea of guilty to an alternative offence of sexual activity with a child was accepted by the prosecution.

The judge said: ‘Clearly this started as a very serious case, but what it comes to is simply a teenage incident which should never have come near the courts at all.

‘These sort of cases have no place in this kind of court. I want you to go away with that ringing in your ears and for it not to cast a shadow over the rest of your teenage years.

‘You have been through a great deal as a result of this. I hope you can now put it behind you. I don’t think this matter should be here at all.’

‘You were 19 at the time, not a child, but still a teenager, and you are rightly described as a somewhat lonely young man.

‘I do take the view this was entirely out of character, and I also take into account your own vulnerabilities.’

The court heard Hayes met the girl in 2017 after talking to her on Snapchat.

Prosecutor Christopher Hewertson said they met and kissed and continued to exchange social media messages.

The girl, who sent pictures of herself and asked if he wanted ‘nudes’, says he was aware of her age, and in one message, indicating he realised she was underage, Hayes commented: ‘Shame you’re too young.’

As they discussed meeting again, she said she wanted to meet with him for sex, to which he responded: ‘You won’t though, will you?’ But she insisted: ‘I will, Dan, I swear I will.’

Hayes, who had a girlfriend at the time, told her: ‘We definitely going to go into the wood to bang, but only for 15 minutes.’

Mr Hewertson said they met in Coventry and went into a wooded area where ‘there was some kissing and cuddling, and then they had full sex up against a tree.’

Afterwards Hayes sent a message telling her: ‘Wow, that was so good.’

The girl later revealed to someone at a care home that she had had sex with someone who was 19 or 20, and police were called.