A young man who preyed on teenage girls in Ballarat, causing a 13-year-old to fall pregnant and go through a traumatic childbirth, has been sentenced to five years behind bars.
Scott Best, 19, told one of his victims he had set a goal of having sex with 50 people before he was stopped by police and remanded in custody last October, the County Court was told in Melbourne this week.
The court heard the 13-year-old returned a positive pregnancy test in August last year after she met Best through friends in July, prompting police to arrest him and grant him bail on the condition he not go near her house.
However, he ignored this order on the same day of his release, driving to the girl’s house late at night and speaking to her sister before picking up a 14-year-old girl.
Best told the second girl he’d had sex with 47 people but wanted to get with 50 before sexually abusing her in his car – only hours after being interviewed by police in relation to the pregnant 13-year-old.
In court, Judge Sue Pullen slammed Best’s behaviour, saying he knew the age of the two girls and that the age of consent was 16.
Judge Pullen read out a victim impact statement from the 13-year-old, who has since given birth to a baby boy only a few years after finishing primary school.
“When she fed her baby at night she looked at him and worried about the day he would find out about the awful circumstances of his birth,” Judge Pullen said.
“It made her scared and made her feel sick.
“Life for her would never be normal, she ... felt old and ashamed of herself.”
The girl’s mother also gave a victim impact statement, saying she feared for her daughter’s life during the pregnancy due to her size and age.
“She described that following (her daughter’s) completion of primary school in 2015, just a year and a half later she was pregnant,” Judge Pullen said.
“Right up until the baby was born, she did not know if (her daughter) would survive labour. (She) was so young, her body so small and she was in incredible pain.”
Before his arrest, Best breached his bail conditions and threatened the 14-year-old girl after she made a statement to police, saying he would get people to “smash her head in”.
However, police moved in and he was remanded before he could act upon the threat.
He was charged and pleaded guilty to multiple offences including two counts of sexual penetration of a child under 16.
In sentencing, Judge Pullen questioned whether Best was truly remorseful and said she did not accept his immaturity was to blame for his actions given he continued to offend after being interviewed by police.
"Your offending, in my opinion, shows an absolute disregard by you about having sex with underage females," she said.
"You were clearly aware of their ages and in one record of interview said you understood the age of consent was 16.
“You certainly didn't care about your responsibility.”
Best, who has spent 243 days in protective custody, was sentenced to five years in jail with a non-parole period of three years.
He will be placed on the sex offenders register for life.