Man escapes jail after friends film him having sex with underage girl

An 18-year-old man living with shaken baby syndrome had sex with a 13-year-old girl while he was unbeknowingly filmed by his mates.

Thomas Clulow pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court to six counts of sexual intercourse with a young person and one count of possessing child exploitation material.

According to a court document, Clulow was in a relationship with the girl and on one occasion, while having sex with her, his friends snuck into the room and filmed it.

Those male friends then circulated the images to various people, including Clulow, which led to him also being charged with possessing child exploitation material.

Justice Robert Pearce said Clulow’s crimes would have been viewed differently if he was younger.

According to Tasmanian law, someone accused of sex with a child can defend the allegation if it was consensual and the pair’s age gap is less than three years.

Justice Pearce also took into account that the defendant played no part in the filming of child exploitation material.

“(This is) a situation where a young immature man gave in to a sexual urge when presented with an opportunity,” he said.

Justice Pearce noted that Clulow had some mental issues and an abusive father.

Clulow was convicted of five counts of sexual intercourse with a young person.

He was not convicted of the final count of the same charge and child exploitation material.

Clulow will serve 105 hours of community service after prison was deemed inappropriate.