Child abuser jailed after getting young teen pregnant
A MAN from outside Tennant Creek who had an unlawful "domestic relationship" with a girl almost 10 years his junior has been jailed for child abuse after the girl fell pregnant.
The man - who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim - pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court to one count of having sexual intercourse with the 14-year-old in 2015.
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The court heard the man, then aged 23 and nine months, began the "relationship" with the girl in their home community when she was aged 13 and had sex with her both there and in Tennant Creek.
The man had unprotected sex with the girl in May and in August her mother took her to the local health clinic where she found she was pregnant and later underwent a termination at the Alice Springs Hospital.
The girl declined to be interviewed by police but investigators collected DNA evidence under warrant that revealed the man was the father of her unborn child.
In sentencing the man to one year and eight months in jail - suspended after seven months - Justice Peter Barr noted his prior conviction for assaulting the same girl in a community recreation shed used by local children for after school activities.
"It appears that you thought you had been disrespected by the victim and you threw a stick at her, which narrowly missed," he said.
"You then picked up a big long black broom and struck her twice to the back of her head while she was facing away from you. This caused her to cry out in pain."
Justice Barr said while the man had no other prior convictions for similar offending the "significant age difference between you and the child" was an aggravating factor.
"You were almost 24 and she was just 14," he said.
"That girl was far too young to be making decisions about sexual intercourse and being in a relationship with you, a much older man … you should have known better, being an older person.
"Fortunately for you, you do not have any other convictions for offending of this kind, whether before or after May 2015 and as I mentioned earlier, you have not reoffended in any significant way since May 2015.
"I am confident that you can maintain your good behaviour after you are let out of prison."
*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as Man jailed over 'relationship' with 14-year-old in Tennant Creek