A 17-year-old youth who was caught minding an under-age girl working as a prostitute has been ordered to do 200 hours of community work.
Shadden Markus Dobbs was caught early on Christmas Eve, on Manchester Street, near Edgeware.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Paul Scott said in the Christchurch District Court that the girl offered sexual services to two customers and was paid $70 which was handed to Dobbs. The youth explained that he was to receive half of the earnings.
Judge Alistair Garland was told that Dobbs was looking for work, and at present lived with his aunt and grandmother.
The judge told him that the maximum penalty for receiving earnings from an underage sex worker – the age limit is 18 – was seven years’ jail. Dobbs pleaded guilty.
“This sort of conduct is regarded very seriously by the courts,” said the judge. It was one of the concerns when the amendment to the law was passed allowing prostitution to be practised more openly, but this was not a situation where a young person had been pressured by someone older.
Dobbs was immature and had shown particularly poor judgment to become involved on this occasion.
The judge imposed a sentenced of 200 hours of community work, with permission to convert some of the hours to training. The $70 has been confiscated by the Crown.