A pizza delivery worker who impregnated a 15-year-old child has appealed his prison sentence because he thinks it was too harsh, court heard.
Morwell, Australia man Nathaniel Roberts, 27, was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in jail with a non-parole period of three years in the County Court last year after he pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual penetration of a child under the age of 16.
Roberts was 24 at the time of the offending, which occurred in August 2020, and the victim, who cannot be identified, was 15.
The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is now raising a child after Roberts sexually offended against her on four occasions over 11 days.
The court heard Edwards and the victim met at a house in Victoria, Australia, in August 2020, with a sexual ‘relationship’ developing shortly after.
According to a written prosecution summary released by the County Court, Edwards had been told by the victim that she was only 15 – and they had discussed their age difference a number of times.
In September 2020, the victim told her mother that she was afraid she might be pregnant and that the father was around 25 years old.
Her pregnancy was confirmed in October of that year.
Roberts told the victim he wanted her to have an abortion, saying he would support her, before ending their ‘relationship’.
The law in Victoria sets the minimum age of consent at 16 and a person who takes part in an act of sexual penetration with a child under 16 is guilty of an indictable offence carrying a maximum penalty of up to 25 years imprisonment.
Sentencing Roberts last year, County Court Judge Michael McInerney said the legislation was designed to protect young children and there could be no consent at the age of 15.
On Tuesday, April 18, 2023, Roberts’ barrister Joe Connelly told the Court of Appeal that the victim had shown ‘more than acquiescence’ in the pair’s sexual ‘relationship’, adding that ‘in so far as a child can give consent, she did’.
He added there was no grooming or force and the pair’s ‘relationship’ was ‘relatively short’.
Robyn Harper, for the Crown, said the maximum penalty Roberts faced was 15 years, with the sentence handed down 33 percent of that maximum penalty.
Harper said the aggravating factor in the offending was Roberts’ ejaculation inside the victim, which had caused her pregnancy.
She said the crime was ‘particularly serious,’ and told the court that the sentence imposed was ‘clearly not outside the range.’
‘The consequences were significant,’ Harper said.