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Underage sex man walks free


A northern Tasmanian man found guilty of having sex with a child 25 years ago has walked free from court after receiving a suspended sentence.

The Supreme court heard the married 52-year-old, who can't be named, knew the girl, who lived next door in Launceston, was only 16 when the conduct occurred on a shooting trip.

A jury recently cleared the man of rape and perverting justice but found him guilty of three counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a young person. 

"Any crime involving sexual penetration of a child is a serious matter. General deterrence is a very important sentencing consideration," said Justice Michael Brett in sentencing.

"However, the modest disparity in your ages at the time of commission of the crimes, and the consensual nature of the conduct, distinguishes these crimes from other more serious examples of the type."

The offender was given 15 months prison suspended.