A MAN who had unlawful sex with his 14-year-old girlfriend has been jailed for 30 months.
The registered sex offender pleaded guilty in Bendigo County Court last week to one count of sexual penetration of a child under 16, four counts of failing to comply with sex offender reporting requirements and several dishonesty, driving and drug use charges.
The court was told the Kilmore man, 25, began a relationship with the teenager in October last year and had consensual sex with her four times in a three-month period.
It heard the man stole items, including a $45,000 car, to get money to feed a drug habit which developed after a relationship breakdown with the mother of his child in late 2010.
Defence lawyer Russell Kelly told the court his client naturally gravitated towards young people and tendered two medical reports which described the man as having the cognitive functioning of a mid-to-upper primary school aged child and the social functioning of an early adolescent.
Judge Jane Patrick said she accepted the man's moral culpability was lessened due to his relative immaturity, but said he had deliberately and blatantly ignored previous court orders.
"The laws are designed to protect children from the bad decisions of others and their own bad decisions," she said.
"You knew you could get into trouble, but you went ahead because you wanted to meet your emotional needs."
On Friday, Judge Patrick jailed him for 30 months with a non-parole period of 18 months.
He will have to report as a sex offender for life.