South Shields student who 'intimidated' girl to engage in sexual activity avoids jail
A college student who used 'intimidation' to pressure a teenage girl to engage in sexual activity has walked free from court.
Connor Womersley had sexual contact with the victim when she was underage and ensured she continued to co-operate with his demands after she turned 16 by using pressure and sending sinister messages.Prosecutor Elizabeth Muir told Newcastle Crown Court: "The defendant accepts there was a background of verbal intimidation, which he accepts may have led toher feeling she had little or no choice to engage in some of the sexual activity."The background was there was unpleasant messages sent to her by this defendant, which pressured her into going to see him and engaging in sexual activity, because she was concerned and frightened as to what would happen to her if she did not go and take part in that activity."The court heard activity did not include penetrative sex.Miss Muir said the girl's ordeal has had a "considerable effect"on her.Womersley, 20, of Sutton Way, South Shields, pleaded guilty to causing a child to engage in sexual activity and causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent.He has since been excluded from college.The court heard Womersley was 17 when he carried out the offences, has learning difficulties, a low IQ and no record of similar offending.He has not been assessed as posing a danger to the public.Judge Robert Adams said a prison sentence could be "extremely damaging" to Womersley and told him: "It would not assist you in so far as your difficultiesare concerned and, in the long term, the public would not be assisted, while they would be assisted by long term intervention by the appropriatebodies".Womersley was sentenced to a three year community order with supervision.He must sign the sex offenders register for five years and stay away from the girl under the terms of a life-long restraining order.Graeme Cook, defending, said a jail sentence would have a "dramatic effect" on Womersley and his future rehabilitation.