Man jailed for sex with girl, 14

A judge told the District Court today that a father of two took advantage of a vulnerable 14-year-old girl under his care for his own “sexual gratification”.

Steven Andrew Brady, 36, pleaded guilty to charges of indecent treatment, unlawful carnal knowledge and maintaining a sexual relationship with a child under 16.

Judge Richard Jones labelled the offence a “serious error of judgment for which he will be paying an enormous price”.

Brady was sentenced to total of three and half years jail, suspended after 12 months.

The court heard that the girl moved in with Brady and his partner when she was 14, after a series of disagreements with her mother.

Crown prosecutor David Nardone told the court the girl saw Brady as a “father figure” and gave her the attention she never got from her mother.

Mr Nardone said Brady, who had no criminal history, engaged in various sexual acts with the girl over a period of around two years.

He told the court that although there was “some degree of consent”, Brady had seduced a girl who was “too young to make decisions about her sexual conduct”.

“An adult needs to act as an adult, and resist his urges,” Mr Nardone said.

He also said that although Brady showed a degree of remorse, he initially denied any wrongdoing and labelled the charges “ridiculous”.

Defence counsel Tim Ryan urged Judge Jones to consider that Brady’s behaviour contained no element of violence or intimidation and was “totally out of character”.

Mr Ryan told the court that Brady struggled with depression and expected to be imprisoned.

He understood the “significant dislocating effect” this would have on his family.

The judge said although he thought Brady was unlikely to reoffend, the sentence had to act as a deterrent and “send a clear message to the community”.

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