Hartlepool teenager spared jail for kissing 12-year-old schoolgirl

Teesside Crown Court.
Teesside Crown Court.

A teenager who kissed a 12-year-old girl landed himself in court and with a sex offence conviction.

Matthew McCormick, aged 19, was found guilty of sexual assault after he stood trial at Teesside Crown Court in April.

She indicated she did not feel comfortable but was too scared to tell him to get off

Prosecutor Shaun Dodds

It was after he planted his lips on the victim on a playing field against her wishes.

But McCormick, who was 18 at the time, was spared jail after the court heard he had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and borderline learning difficulties.

Describing the offence, Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, said: “The complainant indicated he had kissed her on the lips. She indicated she did not feel comfortable but was too scared to tell him to get off because of a comment he had passed about having ADHD.

“Her father comes on the scene and the police are alerted.”

Christine Egerton, mitigating, said McCormick had not done anything similar since the offence which happened over a year ago and had been closely supervised by his mother.

Ms Egerton said: “He has had this hanging over him for some time, that in itself has been a punishment.”

Recorder Tahir Khan QC said McCormick had been immature and impulsive and his personal circumstances meant he did not need to lock him up.

Recorder Khan said: “The incident was short-lived and whilst it must have been upsetting for [the girl] this is not the worst type of offending.”

He added: “You are not dangerous or malicious in the way you behaved and it’s not necessary to send you to custody in order to protect the public and other children from unwanted attentions by you.”

McCormick, of West View Road, Hartlepool, was given a 12 month community order with supervision.

He was also slapped with a five-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order which prevents him having unsupervised contact with girls under 16 and orders him to stay away from the area where the offence happened.

He will also have to tell police of any change of address for the next five years.