Man got teenager pregnant and gave her abortion drugs

Tue, Jun 28, 2011, 01:00

A “CUNNING and manipulative” man who gave a teenager abortion drugs when she became pregnant has been jailed for seven years.

Handing down the sentence to Christopher Paul Buckham (33) at Belfast Crown Court, the recorder of Belfast, Judge Tom Burgess, said he had looked for a “scintilla of concern for her but no matter how hard one looks, finds none”.

He said that having groomed the 15-year-old girl through internet chat rooms and texting, Buckham lied to her about having fertility problems and then, when she became pregnant, he gave her abortion drugs and then left her to deal with the emotional and physical effects of the termination.

“His behaviour requires to be visited with condign punishment,” the judge said.

Buckham pleaded guilty to eight charges of sexual activity with a child and one of supplying a poison to procure a miscarriage, between June 19th, 2009, and May 22nd last year.

A previous court heard that Buckham became friendly with the girl, who at the beginning was only 14, through web chat rooms and then by text messages but that the sexual activity did not start until she was 15.

Buckham, who was married and at the time of the offences was trying to conceive with his wife, told the schoolgirl he had fertility problems so the pair had unprotected sex.

“The truth of the matter,” Judge Burgess said, “was that the defendant did not suffer from infertility and that became clear when his wife became pregnant.”

Buckham’s attitude “displayed a callousness and indifference” to his victim’s interests but while that was “totally reprehensible and abhorrent, worse was to come”.

Using the internet, Buckham ordered abortion drugs and got the teenager to take them.

Judge Burgess said the dangers to her physical and emotional health would have been “perfectly obvious” to Buckham but that “in short, he abandoned this young girl”.

“He showed total indifference to her,” he said, adding that with the pregnancy ended, “the defendant was only too happy to recommence the relationship, his only gesture of protection of her interests being to indulge in sex by wearing a condom”.

As Buckham stood in the dock with his head bowed and his victim being continually hugged by her father just feet away, Judge Burgess told him he had “taken advantage of the immaturity and vulnerability of a young girl half his age on a regular basis . . . for his own personal gratification, only too happy to subjugate her interests to his own pleasures”.

As well as the seven-year jail term, he ordered Buckham to sign the police sex offenders’ register for the rest of his life and, as part of a sexual offences prevention order, barred him from ever contacting his victim again.