Wickham Market: 50-year-old jailed for four year for having sex with underage girl

A SUFFOLK man who had sex with a 14-year-old girl who was 35 years younger than him has been jailed for four years.

Geoffrey Harris, of High Street, Wickham Market, exchanged texts with the girl before arranging to meet her for sex at his home in June last year, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Harris, who was 49 at the time, but is now 50, pleaded guilty to two offences of sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl.

Jailing him for four years, Judge John Holt said both offences happened on the same evening. In addition to jailing him, he made him the subject of an indefinite sexual offences prevention order.

Godfried Duah, prosecuting, said the girl’s mother became concerned after her daughter asked if she could go to the cinema with Harris.

She refused and told her that Harris was as old as her father and it would be as inappropriate for her to go to the cinema with Harris as it would be for her father to take one of her school friends out.

The girl’s mother subsequently discovered entries in her diary about Harris “talking dirty” to her and the girl saying how much she loved him, said Mr Duah.

Most Read

The girl also said in another diary entry that she had slept with Harris on two occasions on June 19 last year, said Mr Duah.

When the girl was confronted about her diary entries she said that Harris had worn a condom on both occasions.

Peter Barlex, for Harris, said his client had admitted the offences at an early stage and had no previous convictions.

Harris had worked with young people in the past and nothing of this nature had happened before. “He doesn’t have any specific attraction to girls of around 14. It was a situation that developed.

“He had no idea it would develop into a brief sexual relationship. He bitterly regrets it. He could have said ‘no’ at any time and he now has to live with the consequences,” Mr Barlex said.