Man to wed teen on release

A STANTHORPE man has vowed to marry his teenage girlfriend, despite having spent the past 113 days behind bars as a result of their relationship.

The 23-year-old man is still behind bars after yesterday pleading guilty to the indecent treatment of his girlfriend, who was 14 at the time of the offence.

The Warwick District Court yesterday heard the two had been in a platonic relationship for several months but "things progressed" when she wagged school in March last year.

After a morning of playing xBox, kissing and hugging, the then-22-year-old man touched the girl, who is now 16, on her genitalia and breasts.

Prosecutor Ken Spinaze said although the man's actions "caught her by surprise" initially, the girl consented.

Mr Spinaze added that the young man announced his engagement to the girl on Facebook in December.

The girl was living with her aunt and uncle at the time and they made the complaint to police.

Defence barrister Frank Martin said both his client and the girl were committed to continuing the relationship.

"He plans to get out of jail, get a job and settle down with her," he said.

The man was placed on probation for 18 months but has been remanded in custody for sentencing on a number of charges relating to the exchange of sexual texts and messages between the two of them.

Last month the man pleaded guilty to a number of other charges, including using Facebook and text messages to engage in sexual activity with a child.

Topics:  crime guilty jail police stanthorpe weddings

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