Belfast Telegraph

Man (27) jailed for having sex with girl aged 15

A County Antrim man has been jailed for 15 months after pleading guilty to having sex with an underage girl twice.

Christopher Cowan appeared at Belfast Crown Court yesterday where he was also ordered to sign the police sex offenders register for 10 years.

The court was told it was the second time the 27-year-old had been in court for abusing an |underage girl.

Prosecuting lawyer Kate McKay said that on this occasion, the 15-year-old girl Cowan had sex with in his home did not want to give evidence or even make a statement but that her mother had.

It was on foot of that evidence that Cowan, from Main Street, Parkgate, close to Ballyclare, was arrested and interviewed but he declined to answer any questions.

However, he later pleaded guilty to two offences of sexual activity with a child on dates |between January 1 and April 10, 2010.

Jailing Cowan, Judge David McFarland revealed that when he was 18, Cowan received a six-month suspended term for the indecent assault of a 13-year-old girl, adding that the latest offending showed that he had not “in any way changed your attitudes and behaviour”.

He said it was clearly a difficult case to sentence but that despite the pair having consensual sex, given the age of consent is 16, “she was |incapable of consenting”.

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