5th Dec, 2019

Young man pestered girl, 14, into sex

A YOUNG Rugby man had sex with a 14-year-old girl after putting pressure on her to send him pictures of herself naked.

And it was left to a friend to inform Irah Meakin-Wong’s mother that he would not be going home – after he pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to sexual activity with a child.

Meakin-Wong, 21, of Lodge Road, Rugby, was jailed for two years and five months, and was ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years.

Prosecutor Gary Venturi said that in 2017 Meakin-Wong began exchanging messages with a 14-year-old girl, beginning in a friendly tone, but then turning sexual.

He was aware of her age, but began pestering her to send him naked pictures of herself, and sending her intimate pictures of himself.

Meakin-Wong then started to put pressure on the girl to take part in sexual activity with him, telling her in one message: “Go on, I’ll get you fags and alcohol.”

Eventually she agreed to meet him in a park, and after buying alcohol they went to an address where they had sex.

A few days later she told her mother what had happened and the police were contacted.

When Meakin-Wong was arrested he admitted there had been sexual activity with the girl, but claimed he thought she was over 16.

But Judge Anthony Potter observed: “He knew she wasn’t over 16 because there’s a stark exchange of messages in which she said ‘I am 14.’”

Of the impact of the offence, the court heard that in a statement the girl says: “It has made me feel worthless.

“I feel ashamed at the way I let him take advantage of me. I felt really pressurised into meeting him.

“He also gave my number to one of his friends so his friend could contact me to have sex with me.”

And she said that as a result of what happened she has self-harmed, adding: “I keep thinking I want to kill myself.”

David Everett, defending, said Meakin-Wong was 18 when the messages began, and 19 when the sexual activity took place, and there had been no further problems in the time he had waited for the case to come to court.

Meakin-Wong lives with his mother, but Mr Everett said: “His mother doesn’t know he’s in court today, or even that he’s been prosecuted for this matter. I advised him to tell her, but he has not been able to bring himself to do so.

“He feels so ashamed that he just can’t tell her. He has two friends who know, and one of them is going to speak to her.”

Mr Everett said Meakin-Wong left school with 12 GCSEs and three A-levels, and had wanted to go to university but could not afford it, so decided to defer it for two years and worked in a supermarket to raise some money to fund himself.

He then received compensation for injuries he suffered in a motorbike accident and, using that and a student loan, he began a business and marketing degree and has finished his first year.

“His intention had been to look to becoming a lecturer, but I’ve told him he’s going to have to reconsider his future. His prospects are ruined by his own behaviour.

“He was 18 at the time the messages started and she was 14. It is clear he wanted sexual intercourse with her and that she wanted drink from him, and drink was bought, but it was not consumed until after the intercourse,” said Mr Everett.

And he added: “There has been a two-year delay which, if I may say, is pretty disgraceful. He has gone through agonies over that two years.”

Jailing Meakin-Wong, Judge Potter told him: “I sentence you following your guilty plea to sexual activity with a child, a girl who at the time you began to communicate with her was 14.

“You began to pester her first for pictures of her body and then, with a degree of persistence, began to pester her for sexual intercourse. There was clearly grooming activity.

“She thought the only way you would stop was if she gave you what you wanted.”

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