A man who got a 14-year-old girl pregnant after they had been drinking and smoking cannabis at his Warwick flat has been jailed for four-and- a-half years.
Despite the damning DNA evidence against him, Nicholas Cowen had denied a charge of sexual activity with a child.
But on the day of his trial at Warwick Crown Court, Nicholas Cowen, aged 30, previously of Greville Road, Warwick, changed his plea to guilty.
Prosecutor Sharon Bahia said: “The defendant is now 30. He had intercourse with the girl when she was 14. He was well aware of her age.”
Cowen had been living with his wife, but they separated in October 2013 and he went to stay with someone who lived in Portobello Way, Warwick.
The girl later told the police that in late November or December she went to what she described as Cowen’s flat where they were ‘having a laugh and smoking weed.’
That led to them having intercourse, after which they both fell asleep and she did not go home until the next morning.She said Cowen told her not to tell anyone what had happened or he would be sent to prison.
But Miss Bahia said the girl was overheard some weeks later as she confided in a friend that she was pregnant and that Cowen was the father.
That got back to her mother who made her take a pregnancy test which came back positive, so she was taken to the police station where a complaint was made.
The girl subsequently had an abortion, and DNA analysis supported the fact that Cowen was the father. But when he was arrested Cowen denied having intercourse with the girl, and he maintained that stance even after being presented with the scientific evidence, said Miss Bahia.
She added that Cowen did have previous convictions, but none in the last ten years and none for similar offences.
Matthew Barnes, defending, said: “Mr Cowen regrettably delayed until today to accept what on this evidence a jury would have found inevitably that he was responsible for this pregnancy.
“But Mr Cowen did not groom this victim. He did not set out to corrupt her, and this single act of consensual sexual intercourse did not corrupt her in any way.
Mr Barnes said Cowen had lost his mother when he was a child and was then badly affected by the death of his father. He had managed to get himself emotionally straight and had found stability with his partner, with whom he was happy, but something then happened which caused the relationship to end.
That was a matter of weeks before the offence, which took place at the time when he was at a particularly low ebb.
Jailing Cowen and ordering him to register as a sex offender for life, Recorder Adrian Redgrave QC told him: “It is very late for you to have come to accept your responsibility for this offence. Nevertheless, I shall give you some credit for your plea of guilty.
“But you know that this offence is the more serious because of her age, which you knew, and because of the fact that she became pregnant and had to have an abortion.”