'She clearly told him she was 14 ... Her age is on Facebook'

IT was a chance Facebook encounter.

She was a 14-year-old Gladstone school girl. He was an immature lad aged 18.

Life forever changed, the girl is now a mum.

The repercussions are ongoing, the baby's father charged with carnal knowledge.

In a warning for teenage sexual encounters the case went before Gladstone magistrate Mark Morrow when the baby's father pleaded guilty to carnal knowledge of a child. Prosecutor Sgt Barry Stevens said the pair met through chatting on Facebook and she went to his home where they had consensual sex.

"She says she clearly told him she was 14. Her age is on Facebook," Sgt Stevens said. "She fell pregnant and has had his child."

Sgt Stevens said when he was spoken to by police officers he said she told him she was 16.

He said since the baby's birth the young father has had no involvement.

"Young people need to be protected, this is clearly why. A young girl's life has been changed," Sgt Stevens told the court.

"Children are way too young to have babies, there are psychological and other issues it brings up."

Defence lawyer Cassandra Ditchfield said the new father was not able to see his baby because he was not legally permitted to have any contact with the girl.

"He is quite happy to have contact with the child," Ms Ditchfield said.

"His mother has contact and she (girl) has the support of her family.

"It was very much the act of an immature 18-year-old rather than predatory (behaviour)."

When Mr Morrow asked what his intention was now, Ms Ditchfield said unfortunately he did not have much money to assist.

Ms Ditchfield said the burden of the outcome would be shared between the two of them. Mr Morrow found there had been consensual sex and the product of that was a child.

After reviewing precedent legal cases put forward by the prosecutor, Mr Morrow said he had no prior offences and very good prospects of rehabilitation.

He sentenced him to two years supervised probation.



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