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Party fling put young musician's future in jeopardy
12:09pm Tuesday 10th June 2014 in News
A PROMISING young musician put his future in jeopardy through a sexual liaison with a marginally underage girl, a court heard.
Jordan Branthwaite and the 15-year-old girl had the consensual encounter at a party in Seaham, County Durham, in September 2012.
Durham Crown Court heard that Branthwaite, who was then 18, was arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a child on October 5 that year and admitted the offence when interviewed.
Paul Reid, prosecuting, said the girl involved has not co-operated with police inquiries and her family did not make a complaint as she was only weeks off her 16th birthday at the time.
Mr Reid said Branthwaite’s mobile phone was seized, revealing he also sent messages to a 13-year-old girl asking her to send pictures of herself in her underwear or naked.
The girl refused his repeated requests as she felt uncomfortable.
Branthwaite, now 19, of Gibson Court, Boldon Colliery, South Tyneside, admitted sexual activity with a child and attempting to possess an indecent photograph of a child.
Thomas Laffey, mitigating, handed over a number of character references on behalf of Branthwaite, who was musical director for a drama group at the time of the offences.
“He’s described as a fairly remarkable young man and it’s not lost on him how grave an error he has found himself committing here.
“There’s no question at all, this was nothing other than consensual encounter.
“But, he’s a remarkable young man who has never previously troubled police in any shape or form, and won’t in future."
Judge Christopher Prince told Branthwaite the offences could have landed him behind bars, but he felt society would be better served if he underwent sex offender work and imposed a three-year community supervision order.
Branthwaite must also sign the Sex Offender’s Register for five years.