Justin James Samson was 22 years old when he had sex with the girl and got her pregnant, which resulted in her having an abortion.
When he was arrested at the time, he admitted kissing and touching the teenager, but denied having sex, the Royal Court heard. Samson told officers that he knew the girl was just under legal age, but that he did not believe he had committed a crime as he had not had full sex with her.
The investigation seemingly stalled partly, the court heard, because the victim was reluctant to take part in the prosecution. About 18 months after the inquiry began, two States police officers told the girl that because of a combination of factors – including her non-compliance and the fact there was no corroborative evidence – Samson would not be charged.
The court also heard that officers told her that paperwork in the case had gone missing.
Last year the woman contacted the States police again and the investigation was relaunched. DNA evidence later proved that Samson was the man responsible for the pregnancy which was terminated, the court heard.
Samson, who has committed 109 previous offences, later pleaded guilty to indecent assault, unlawful sexual intercourse and separate offences of driving without a licence or insurance.
He was jailed for a total of 18 months for the sex offences – 12 months less than the Crown had asked for – and a further six months for the motoring offences. He was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for a minimum of five years.
Attorney General Mark Temple, prosecuting, said: ‘The offences have had a significant impact on the complainant who said in interview that they “had ruined a lot of my life”.’
Advocate Luke Sette, defending, said that his client committed the offences over a ‘limited period of time’ and they ‘involved no coercion’ and that the victim initially did not co-operate with the police.
He said that Samson had been brought up in care homes, and the advocate asked the court to treat his client as a man who ‘had his own vulnerabilities’ at the time of the offences.
During sentencing, Lieutenant-Bailiff Anthony Olsen, presiding, said the court noted the ‘unfortunate delay’ in bringing the prosecution.
He said that the offences had clearly had a significant impact on the victim, and that the court was concerned that pre-sentence reports had found the defendant did not have remorse for his actions.
Urging Samson to continue to work to turn his life around, he said: ‘It is clear you had a pretty dreadful start to your life but you must try to leave that behind you now. We very much hope we won’t see you here again.’
In a statement, Detective Inspector Christina Maclennan, head of the States police’s Serious Crime Unit, said: ‘The States of Jersey Police has a dedicated historic abuse team that investigates all allegations of historic abuse, regardless of when they took place.
‘Although these cases are extremely complex, we are committed to investigating such crimes robustly, and where evidence exists we will strive to place offenders before the courts. We remain relentless in pursuit of sex offenders, no matter when the offence occurred and I hope today’s sentencing brings some comfort and closure to the victim.’
Jurats Steven Austin-Vautier and Kim Averty were sitting on the case.