A man from Mildenhall has been jailed for six years after having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl when he was 18.

Joel Green, who is currently serving a two-year sentence after punching his own father, met the girl in the summer of 2020 when he sold her cannabis, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The court heard from prosecutor, Brian Reece, and he said the victim made it clear she was 14 and Green admitted they had sex on at least 10 occasions.

The relationship came to an end when the girl’s father made contact with social services, which helped bring her back under his care.

A victim statement was read out on behalf of the girl by Mr Reece.

The statement said: “I’m now 18 years old. You, Joel, will still remember me as the 14-year-old child you always called mature for her age.

“You, Joel Green, have ruined my childhood and trust in relationships. Every time I saw you, I was consuming drugs you gave me."

She added: “I was never sober, and this affected my eating. I never ate more than a tin of rice once or twice a week.

“You would tell me that you would kill my mum or my sister and eventually me. This has been so emotional and draining to go through again.

“I hope in 10 years time you don’t have to worry about your daughter the same way my dad had to worry about me.

“Your behaviour broke me.”

She continued: “I would flinch at ridiculous things as simple as my dad closing a door.

“All because you wanted to hurt me over and over.”

She finished by saying she is now “living life to the fullest” and that she is stronger “compared to when I was skinny, unwashed, drug addicted”.

Defence barrister Lynne Shirley spoke in mitigation and firstly made it clear that Green, formerly of Kingsway, Mildenhall, admits no offence beyond the sexual activity.

She said: “This is a young man who does have antecedent history but nothing to do with sexual offending.

“Your honour knows this is a single offence over a two-month period. His emotional and cognitive maturity are clearly factors. He was very young at the time."

Ms Shirley added that “negative peer influences” may have had an impact and that he has “his own vulnerabilities” as someone who sent time in care and suffered bullying as a child.

But Judge David Pugh said: “I note that she said the first time you tried to have sex with her ‘you gave her loads and loads of pills’ namely drugs then took her back to your property and tried to have sex with her."

He continued and said: “I am satisfied your supplying her with drugs and befriending her was grooming behaviour for the purposes of having sexual intercourse with her.

“Notwithstanding your youth, you have 16 convictions for 33 offences.”

And he added Green, who is now 21, “poses a high risk of harm to children according to the pre-sentence report” before he gave the defendant, who had been charged with sexual activity with a child, a six-year prison sentence.