A bloke who avoided jail despite pleading guilty to sexually molesting a teenage boy has mocked the justice system in a new post.
Charlie Steine was handed a suspended sentence at Canterbury Crown Court, Kent. The judge told the 23-year-old that he should “reflect on and be grateful for” the forgiveness shown to him.
Hours later Steine took to Facebook to update his profile with a picture of himself boasting it was his seventh court appearance this year, adding a laughing face emoji.
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He captioned the image: "Crown court for the seventh time this year.”
The selfie was taken last on Friday (October 27), after he appeared for sentence after entering an earlier guilty plea for the sexual assault of a boy in Ramsgate, Kent.
During the hearing, Mark Weekes remarked the victim and his parent had shown "considerable understanding and insight" into the defendant's behaviour on June 25 last year.
Prosecutor Suzanne Fewins said the youth was in Ramsgate when Steine, who the teen had previously seen begging, asked for 20p before questioning the boy about his sexuality and asking him to rate his appearance. "The victim felt uncomfortable but, not wanting to be rude, responded 'six out of 10'," she told the court.
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"The defendant then asked for a hug. He then hugged the victim, stroked his back and started kissing his neck. The victim said he was frozen and didn't know what to do so stood still. The defendant let go and asked him to kiss him back. The victim said ‘No’ and started to walk away."
However, Steine followed and tried to give him his Snapchat details. "The victim said he felt really worried, wanted to get home, and kept shouting "no" in the defendant's direction," added Ms Fewins.
The incident was reported to police and Steine, having been identified from CCTV footage, was arrested 11 days later at his grandmother's home. When interviewed, he said he could not remember where he had been that day and "would not have kissed the boy and was not gay", said Ms Fewins.
However, Steine, who has seven previous convictions for 42 offences but none of a sexual nature, later pleaded guilty on the first day of trial in July. The victim and his mother both attended that hearing and in a subsequent statement read to the court, she described how she was "heartbroken" to hear the defendant had been dealt "a hard hand in life" but pleased he had been drug-free for a year.
"I left feeling pity for him and hoped that his future sentencing would be minimal," she continued. "My son said he felt extremely sorry for him and doesn't deserve what's coming to him.
"He knows [Steine] wasn't in his right mind when he did what he did and holds no hate towards him. He hopes he gets all the help he needs for a better life. He wishes Charlie all the best, as I do."
Passing sentence, Judge Weekes said the defendant, while intoxicated, had initially engaged his victim in "what might crudely be termed some form of banter" before accosting him in a "quite distressing and frightening" manner.
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She said: "She and your victim are extremely forgiving people and you should be extremely grateful for that. They understand and have considerable insight into the state you were in at the time of this offence and you would do well to reflect on that when you leave court."
The judge added it was "most unfortunate" that Steine had not pleaded guilty at an earlier stage, and highlighted the fact he had continued to maintain his innocence. But he told him that was now "water under the bridge" due to the "very good progress" he had made.
Steine was handed an 18-month jail term suspended for two years, with 20 rehabilitation activity sessions and a 12-month drug rehabilitation requirement. He must also sign on the sex offender register for 10 years.
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