A 20 year-old gay man has been spared jail this week after it emerged he had an affair with a boy six years his junior.
According to website This Is Bristol, the boy told Smythe he was sixteen but later confessed his real age. Despite this, the relationship continued.
Smythe admitted five offences of sexual activity with a child and was ordered to go on a sex offenders’ programme as part of a three-year supervision order.
An order preventing him from having unsupervised contact with children for five years was also made.
Recorder Mr Andrew Langdon spared him jail, saying: “The boy himself did not make a complaint which is not surprising. It is pretty clear from the Facebook entries he was an emotional and vulnerable teenager and as such is entitled to be protected from people who are several years older.
“You formed a sexual relationship with him and after you had met him and it had become clear he was not 16 but 14. That was very obviously the point at which you ought to have had nothing further to do with him. It may have been difficult to disentangle yourself but you should have done so.
“What makes matters worse is that the Facebook entries make it clear you understood and were advising him it would be better for him to have relationships with people his own age.” (pinkpaper)