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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71146
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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my friend is currently on remand for having with a girl

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my friend is currently on remand for 'having sex with a girl under the age of 16'.
he is active on internet 'dating' sites, although on the type of web sites there isnt much romance, it is 'get down to it, type sex'.
i have not seen him since his arrest but i am lead to believe he only did it once, and was not aware of the girls age until sometime later when the police got involved (the girl was talking to her friend about her experiences and it was her friends parents that informed the police)
my friend is horrified, he accepts full responsibility, and wants to accept what ever 'book is thrown at him', but under these circumstances how can he be guilty if he didnt know the girls age at the time of the event?
this is obviously something which will now ruin his life?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
The difficulty with this is that its always unattractive when men in their 50s start having sex with very young girls at all.
What steps did he take to find out how old she was?
How old is she?
I imagine he has some previous convictions given that he is on remand for this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I agree, but he has recently divorced and as a result he regularly uses the internet to arrange 'no complications sex', he does not specifically target young girls, in fact i have met a few of his lady friends and they are all thirty - forty plus, in this instance he was told by the girl that she had lied to get on the data base of the website (over 18's only) and was not 18 but only 17.

as far as i am aware he simply took her word for it that she was 17.

he has no previous convictions, especially not related to this type of crime ,

It is a defence to this charge to say that you reasonably believed her to be over 16.
The age isn't a directed issue for the jury but they will consider it. They are always much more sympathetic if there is a smaller age gap.
It depends how young she is. If she is 15 then I think most jurors generally are aware that 15 year olds are perfectly capable of giving informed consent. If she is a lot younger then its a harder task.
If this was an over 18 site though and there is a record of her saying she was 17 then unless she locked a lot younger I think probably that would amount to reasonable belief.
However, the practical reality is that he wouldn't be remanded for that so there probably is more to this.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

perhaps there is something he isnt telling us all, but i dont know what?

if he was aware she was only 15, and 'went back for more', then, although he is a good friend, he deserves all he gets, but I'm not aware of that being the case.

all hid friends were surprised he was not bailed until his case came to court.

you think there has to be more to it?

is that the only reason they have to remand him into custody?

Yes, there is probably a good deal more to this. A man with no previous would not be remanded for this on these facts.
To remand a person in custody they have to show a risk of either failing to surrender, committing further offences or interference with witnesses.
A person with no previous convictions and ties to the UK is not likely to fail to surrender. If he has the lose connection that you describe with this young lady then the other two objections fall away and anyway could be met by a condition of non contact.
It is possible that this was just a very unfair bail decision but this is an either way offence so he would have two applications at the Magstrates court and one in the crown and if all have been rejected then there is probably a basis for the rejection.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is there anything we can do to help him, he had been told that there is no defence (ie. sex with someone under the age if 16 consenting or not is statutory rape and he is guilty - end of story!!)

I don't think he has appointed his own solicitor,

There is a defence and I covered it above.

Whether he can rely on it or not is another matter.