A West Yorkshire soldier is facing a dishonourable discharge from the army after being jailed for three years for having sex with an under-age girl.
Lance Corporal Karl Kenyon, who served in Afghanistan with the Royal Logistic Corps, started having sex with the girl when she was 14 and he even managed to conceal her in a room at his Colchester Barracks for about a week.
Prosecutor Andrew Kershaw was unable to give any further details about that incident but he said plainly some planning had gone into it.
Married father-of-one Kenyon, 27, of Boxhall Road, Elland, admitted two charges of sexual activity with a child relating two occasions when he had sex with the girl when she was 14.
He also admitted two other charges of sexual activity covering dozens of the sexual encounters when she was 15.
Bradford Crown Court heard that the teenager, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, eventually realised that Kenyon was not going to leave his wife for her and their relationship came to light early last year.
Mr Kershaw said the teenager told police that it was her parents who wanted to report the relationship because they regarded it as some kind of abuse but she didn’t see it that way.
The teenager had also declined to make a victim personal statement in relation to the case.
Mr Kershaw said there was some “controlling behaviour” by Kenyon during the relationship with him threatening to kill himself if the girl told his wife or broke up with him.
Kenyon’s barrister Richard Gioserano confirmed that his client now faced a dishonourable discharge because of the inevitable prison sentence.
He said Kenyon had admitted instigating everything that happened between him and the girl.
“He said to the police that he was not thinking straight, not being himself. He said he was not being a nice person then,” said Mr Gioserano.
Mr Gioserano said Kenyon could not explain what he had done, but others had noticed a “worrying change in him” particularly after he returned from a second tour of duty in Afghanistan.
The court heard that Kenyon had been able to rebuild some of the relationship with his wife who is now expecting their second child.
Judge Roger Thomas QC told Kenyon he had given good service in the army over several years, but as an adult married man he should have known full well that sexual activity with the girl just couldn’t take place.
“It seems this girl had something of a crush on you,” said the judge.
“You knew that and you took advantage of it and of her.”
The judge said Kenyon had used some pressure in the relationship and he had manipulated the teenager.
Kenyon will now have to register as a sex offender with the police for the rest of his life.