Under-age sex jail term overturned

A 21-year-old Illawarra man has won an appeal against a jail term for having sex with an under-age girl when he was 19.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had consensual sex with the 15-year-old girl in a park in Woonona last May after meeting her over the internet the month before.

He pleaded guilty to the charge in Wollongong Local Court in April and was sentenced to 15 months' jail, with a non-parole period of five months, after the magistrate rejected a request from defence lawyer Aaron Kernaghan to have the sentence suspended.

However, Wollongong District Court presiding judge Paul Conlon on Friday said he agreed with Mr Kernaghan's submission that the local court sentence was too harsh.

"The objective seriousness [of this case] falls to the very bottom end of the scale," Judge Conlon said.

He set aside the prison term and instead placed the man on a two-year good behaviour bond, noting he was a person of good character who was highly unlikely to reoffend.

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