A pervert suffering from “mental health difficulties” has been jailed for three years for molesting a very young girl.
Christopher Carter’s lawyer had submitted prison would have a devastating effect on him and urged supervision and punishment in the community.
But a judge said there was no place available for treatment and there had to be finality in the case.
“I have in mind the impact of a custodial sentence on you,” he told the 23-year-old. “There should be in future some mental health treatment.
“But these offences are so serious I cannot responsibly take the course urged upon this court, namely a non-custodial sentence.”
Carter, of Woodlands Road, Gillingham, admitted two sexual assault charges involving the youngster.
Jonathan Turner, prosecuting, said the girl became upset and told her mother what had happened.
“He was candid in interview, explaining more than the child would ever have told,” he said.
He added: “In the opinion of the mother and child the only appropriate sentence would be one of custody.”
Louise Oakley, defending, said there was a stark choice of whether to send Carter to prison.
“He hasn’t sought to shy away from his responsibilities,” she said. “He has demonstrated genuine remorse.”
He said: “I just wish I never done it. I just hope I haven’t spoilt her life. I have spoilt mine.”
Miss Oakley submitted: “I invite the court to consider a community order with three years supervision. The court may feel this is an exceptional course that could be taken.”
Carter, she said, had behavioural problems and his mother had been at her wit’s end with him.
“Custody for this young man is going to have a devastating effect, some will say quite rightly,” said Miss Oakley.
“But the public may be better served in the long run with him being subject to an order which will allow him to be cared for and rehabilitated in the community.”
Carter was banned from working with children and he will remain on the sex offenders’ register for life.