A man who admitted having sexual relations with a minor has been sentenced to 15 months behind bars.

Jahsyi Smith-Wilkinson, 31, pleaded guilty to having unlawful carnal knowledge of the teenage girl when he appeared in Magistrates’ Court last month.

The court heard that Smith-Wilkinson, from Pembroke, and the girl met while working at the same business in 2018.

At the time, the teenager, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was between 14 and 16, and Smith-Wilkinson was 26.

The two developed a sexual relationship and had intercourse several times until March 2019.

Prosecutor Daniel Kitson-Walters suggested that Smith-Wilkinson spend between 18 and 24 months behind bars for the offence when he reappeared in court for sentencing.

Mr Kitson-Walters also read from the victim impact statement, which highlighted how her relationship with Smith-Wilkinson resulted in her having panic and anxiety attacks, trouble concentrating and developing post-traumatic stress disorder.

The statement read: “I was only a child when he came after me. It makes me sick that someone would do that.”

Marc Daniels, Smith-Wilkinson’s lawyer, pointed out his client’s early guilty plea, previous good character and social inquiry report, which showed his remorse for the incident and a low chance of reoffending.

He requested that Smith-Wilkinson be sentenced to either one year behind bars or a suspended prison sentence.

Smith-Wilkinson apologised to the victim, court and his family before being sentenced, saying: “The worst and hardest part for me is not being able to see or be there for my seven-year-old daughter.”

Highlighting the gravity of the offence, acting magistrate Aura Cassidy said: “Cases of a sexual nature towards minors are serious and, as seen in this case, can lead to lifelong trauma.

While the victim may have been a willing participant at the time, ”she was not legally able to give consent”, the judge noted.

She sentenced Smith-Wilkinson to 18 months in prison, but ordered that three months of that term be suspended for one year.

Ms Cassidy also ordered this sentence be followed by two years’ probation and that Smith-Wilkinson be added to the sex offender register.

The Royal Gazette