College lecturer caught naked in bed with girl, 15, walks free from court

Ian Carter

Community order: College lecturer Ian Carter was in bed with a girl of 15 when her father walked in on them

A college lecturer who was caught naked in bed with a schoolgirl walked free from court yesterday after admitting to an 'error of judgment'.

Ian Carter, 39, was in bed with the underage girl when her father walked in on them.

A court heard that although they were seen embracing, Carter immediately denied there was anything going on between them  -  even though he had no clothes on.

Text messages which he had sent to the 15-year-old were also read to magistrates who described them as 'unsavoury'.

Carter denied sexually touching a girl under the legal age of consent, but was found guilty by magistrates at Caerphilly, South Wales.

Carter, of Tredegar, Gwent, was sentenced to a two-year community order and ordered to register as a sex offender for five years.

Chairman of the bench Francis Cann told him: 'You are a lucky man  -  we are giving you a lenient sentence in the circumstances.'

Alan Bolter, defending, said: 'He made an error of judgment during an incident which took place a week before the girl turned 16.

'He will have a constant reminder of that  -  he has now lost his college teaching position.'

After the case the girl's mother said she was 'disappointed' with the decision.

'We wanted him sent to jail,' she said.

Carter, who has a child from another relationship, lectured at a further education college and since 2002 had run a quad-biking adventure business called MudMassacre.

His offices were on a business park in Tredegar, close to where the girl's father ran a business.

Caerphilly Magistrates Court

Carter, 39, was given a two-year community order at the Caerphilly Magistrates Court, above. Chairman of the bench Francis Cann called him a 'lucky man'

The affair developed when the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, began making regular visits to Carter's offices.

It is understood she was not a pupil at the college where Carter worked.

In February this year the pair were caught getting out of bed by the girl's father.

Carter's business has folded and he has lost his college teaching position, the court was told.

He is understood to have worked in the college's art department.

Last night a neighbour described Carter as a popular figure who acted younger than his age.

He said: 'He is into biking, music and plays in a local rock band  -  they call it Carter's band.

'I never thought he was in his late 30s. He doesn't look it or act it.

'He's always messing round with his hair. One minute he looks like Rod Stewart  -  the next he looks like a punk rocker. He is a popular figure with local youngsters.'

Last night the girl's parents chose not to comment further on the case.

Earlier this week a judge caused outrage when he said a woman who had sex with a 14-year-old boy had been 'seduced' by him, and spared her jail.

Sharon Edwards, 40, bombarded the boy with as many as 50 text messages and emails a day, offered to buy him cocaine and regularly lured him into her bed.

But Judge Peter Fox QC said the married housewife was 'an unhappy lady' who was unable to resist the advances of a child.

The boy's mother said: 'If this had been a man he would almost certainly have been jailed but instead she gets to walk free and pick up her life.'

Edwards, a mother of two, admitted having sex with the boy on four occasions between September last year and January and was given a 12-month jail term, suspended for two years.

She also pleaded guilty to offering to supply the teenager with a Class A drug.