by Keith Hunt
A middle-aged pervert who had sex with a teenage girl has been jailed for four years under an extended sentence for public protection.
Terry Edwards will be on licence for a further two years on completion of his sentence.
The 42-year-old, of Rich Road, Snodland, admitted one charge of sexual activity with a child.
He had been put on probation in 1987 when he was 18 for indecently assaulting a boy and jailed for three years in 1993 for a serious sexual offence with a boy when he was 24.
Judge Philip Statman told him: “It is right to say the circumstances were not accompanied by use of a weapon or threats of force but at the time of this act you were 42 years of age and she was a 14-year-old schoolgirl.
“The law is there to protect children, however precocious they may at first blush appear to be.”
The judge said Edwards was at the time also involved in a relationship with another young girl and he made her pregnant.
He faced a similar charge involving her but he denied it and the prosecution offered no evidence against him.
“The Crown cannot say any unlawful activity occurred prior to her 16th birthday,” said Judge Statman.
Edwards had “slowly but surely” inveigled his way into the younger girl’s life, professing his love and even offering marriage.
“Sexual intercourse took place at a time when she was a virgin, too scared, in my judgement, to say no to your advances,” said the judge. “You clearly took advantage of her.
“It is clear to me you have little insight into what you have done and the effect of your behaviour on your young victim.”
It shone through in reports that Edwards, said to have a low IQ, sought to blame the girl for what happened by egging him on.
At the time his wife had left him with their children. There was domestic abuse on his record, for which he was given a community order.
“A probation officer indicates you show a propensity to be involved in predatory abusive behaviour involving exploitation of children,” said the judge.
Edwards was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and barred from working with children.