A Rugby man who had sex with a 15-year-old girl on the sofa at her home while her parents were asleep upstairs has been jailed for more than two years.
Nicholas Day had originally denied two charges of sexual activity with a child, claiming he believed the girl was over 16 at the time.
But on the day of his trial at Warwick Crown Court, he changed his pleas to guilty – on the basis that he believed she was 16, but that it was not a reasonable belief.
Day (aged 28) of Bennett Street, Rugby, was jailed for two years and one month, and was ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years.
Prosecutor Matthew Barnes said that in 2016 Day, who knew the girl’s father, had been invited to the family’s home for the evening.
It was ‘something of a family joke’ that the girl had some sort of teenager crush on Day, and there was some flirting between them during the evening, but nothing that caused her parents any concern.
At the end of the evening the couple and their daughter went upstairs to bed and, rather than going home that late, Day was to spend the night downstairs on the sofa.
“She having gone to bed, there was then text contact between them which led to her going back downstairs.”
The girl performed oral sex on Day, and they then had intercourse without using a condom, before she went back up to her bedroom, said Mr Barnes.
It later came out in the family what had happened, and the girl also told someone at school.
When Day, who had no previous convictions, was arrested, he accepted what had taken place, but not that he knew she was under-age.
Marcus Harry, defending, said: “There was no grooming behaviour and no planning, and there were no messages of a sexual nature. He didn’t attend the address with any intention of anything sexual happening, and he didn’t take the lead.”
Mr Harry said Day had had ‘a troubled background,’ and had left home at 16, but had difficulty ‘maintaining his social integrity.’
Then, as a result of the case, his housemate threw him out and he spent three weeks homeless before going back to live with his mother.
Jailing Day, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told him: “You had been allowed into their home, and there’s an element that you took advantage of that family home to commit this offence.
“You were there, and alcohol was taken, and later you were in text contact with the child, and she came down to the room where you were and sexual activity took place.
“Your basis of plea is that you did not know she was under 16, but you had no reasonable grounds for the belief that she was not.
“These are serious matters. The legislation is there to protect children from men of your age who seek to take advantage of them.
“You have low average range intellectual functioning, but you do not meet the criteria of learning difficulty.
“I do find myself able to step outside the guideline by reason of your mental health condition, but I can only step so far outside the guideline. I could not, in my public duty, pass a sentence which is not immediate.”