Joshua Humphris sentence for sex with teenage girl in Cornwall park

A man who had sex with an underage teenage girl on a park bench has been jailed for three and a half years.

Truro Crown Court was told that Joshua Humphris had forced himself on the girl, who “tried to focus on the stars in the sky” to distract herself from what was happening – although he continued to claim to the court that he “understood her to be keen.”

However, Judge Robert Linford sentenced 32-year-old Humphris to 42 months in jail, saying the offence was “far too serious for anything other than immediate prison.”

Humpris had initially been charged with rape, which he pleaded not guilty to, and a trial date had been set.

However, after further consultation with the girl and her family, the Crown Prosecution Service agreed to put an alternative charge of sexual activity with a child to Humphris, which he admitted.

A not guilty verdict was subsequently recorded on the rape charge.

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Prosecutor Heather Hope said that Humphris was 30 at the time of the offence. He had struck up a conversation with a teenage girl, offering to buy her tobacco and give her cigarettes.

They exchanged text messages and she agreed to meet him and walk to a nearby field, as she had told her parents she was quitting.

He asked her if she had a boyfriend, then touched the back of her neck and started sniffing her hair.

“She thought this was weird, but at her age she didn’t know how to deal with this,” said Ms Hope. Humphris then kissed her and pulled down her jeans and underwear, before having sex with her.

Ms Hope said: “She didn’t know what to do so she tried to focus on the stars in the sky to disassociate herself from what he was doing to her.

“She was lying on her back with her head off the end of the bench, in a very uncomfortable position.”

Falmouth Packet: Joshua HumphrisJoshua Humphris (Image: Devon and Cornwall Police)

The prosecutor added that he did not wear a condom and the girl was afraid she might get pregnant. At police interview he initially denied having sex with her, but forensic analysis found his DNA on swabs taken from her, and on her clothes.

Humphris later suggested that the girl had in fact instigated “some form of other sexual activity”.

Judith Constable, representing Humphris, said he claimed the girl had told him she was 16, rather than 15, but “he also accepts that he wasn’t sure in his own mind that that was the case.”

He claimed that the girl had in fact put her hands down his shorts and touched him, however Ms Constable added that Humphris was unable to give a clear account of what happened.

She suggested it may be each person “read things entirely differently.”

Ms Constable said when Humphris was three his father died, and he also suffered trauma when his friend died in a car crash and Humphris was unable to get him out before the car burst into flames.

Humphris, formerly of Wadebridge and now of St Columb Major, also looked after his mother who had sciatic arthritis, she said.

Judge Robert Linford pointed to the girl’s victim impact statement, in which she said the incident had caused issues at home and she had not achieved the grades she had expected at school.

He sentenced Humphris to 42 months in prison and he must serve at least half behind bars before serving the remainder on release.

He will also be on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

Falmouth Packet | Truro