Victim of ex air cadets instructor who had sex with a child slams sentence
A former air cadets instructor who had sex with a child has been spared prison – a decision his victim branded disgusting.
Curtis Nicholson groomed and abused the young girl, having sex with her in woods and in his bedroom, a court heard.
The 23-year-old delivery driver, of Main Street South, Cramlington, admitted five offences of sexual activity with the 14-year-old and was given a suspended prison sentence at Newcastle Crown Court.
However, the court was told Nicholson’s plea was entered on the basis he believed the girl was 16.
The victim was in court for the hearing with her family and, afterwards, slammed the decision not to lock him up.
The girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said: “I feel like I’ve wasted my time, he has got away with it.
“I’m disappointed about the sentence, the justice system has totally failed.
“I would have felt better if he had been locked up. Now he is out he can live his life as if nothing has happened.
“If he went to jail he would have had to sit with his own thoughts. He can just go about his life now.
“I feel it’s no punishment. I wasn’t expecting years but could he not have just got a few months to sit and think about it? It’s just digusting.
“I feel like, in court, they simmered down how full on he was. I had 70 missed calls one night because I wouldn’t meet him.
“He said he was going to kill himself if I didn’t meet him. the pressure of that on a 14-year-old is hard enough.”
The offences came to light when someone texted the victim’s mum giving her the horrifying news a man had been having sex with her schoolgirl daughter.
Police were informed and the girl told police he had groomed her on social media and arranged to meet her.
Nicholson, who had a girlfriend at the time, had unprotected sex with the youngster in his bedroom four times and on two occasions outside in wooded areas.
He also pestered her to have a threesome but she refused, the court heard.
Prosecutor Matthew Bean said: “The defendant was aware of the illicit nature of the contact and he told her to remove him as a friend on Facebook.”
The court heard the victim has been left feeling anxious and isolated as a result of the offending and it’s damaged her self-confidence and self-esteem.
Nicholson pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual activity with a child on the basis he believed she was 16 at the time.
He was sentenced to 14 months suspended for two years and must complete a sex offender treatment programme.
He must also sign the sex offenders’ register for ten years, will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for five years and a restraining order for ten years.
Judge Jeremy Freedman told him: “What you did was to effectively groom her.
“You sought her out and gradually persuaded her to have sex with you.
“True it is, you didn’t use any force or physically make her have sexual intercourse with you but the law has to protect 14-year-olds from themselves.
“While you say you didn’t know she was under 16, it was easy for you to ascertain her age and you must have known she was appreciably younger than you.
“You took advantage of her, which was totally and utterly unacceptable.”
The judge said Nicholson has no previous convictions and is remorseful but warned him usually such offences are met with prison sentences.
But he added: “In your case it’s just possible to avoid that course of action.
“While a custodial sentence must be passed to reflect society’s disapproval and condemnation of your conduct, it’s possible to suspend that sentence so that you can submit to intensive rehabilitation to ensure this kind of behaviour is not repeated.”