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Sally army man jailed for sex with teenager

PUBLISHED: 17:43 06 May 2009 | UPDATED: 10:41 23 August 2010

JAILED: Carl Shelton.

JAILED: Carl Shelton.

A SALVATION Army band member has been jailed for seven years after being convicted of having a sexual relationship with a teenage girl 24 years his junior. Carl Shelton, of Thong Lane, Gravesend, was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday. The 4

A SALVATION Army band member has been jailed for seven years after being convicted of having a sexual relationship with a teenage girl 24 years his junior.

Carl Shelton, of Thong Lane, Gravesend, was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday.

The 44-year-old was convicted of two charges of indecent assault, two of sexual activity with a child and one of indecent assault at an earlier hearing in March.

In the trial the court heard how Shelton, then 38, had struck up sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl spanning from September 1, 2003 to July 31, 2004. During this time he would drive the girl to secluded locations and encouraged her to touch him. He also had full sexual intercourse with her at least twice.

Sentencing Judge Charles Macdonald QC said: "The victim developed what is commonly called a crush on him that he exploited for his own sexual purposes.

"This has been described as consensual, but this must be looked at in its context."

The relationship was finally broken off by the victim in July 2004 after it became too much for her. She went to the police in December 2007, aged 18-years-old.

Shelton, who was a member of the Gravesend Salvation Army Band and was married in 2008, has continually denied the charges.

Judge Mr Macdonald added: "The offences as a whole display a gross breach of trust.

"I find pressure was put on the victim to continue the relationship up to July 2004 though probably not thereafter.

"The pre-sentence report writer tells me the defendant is in complete denial and shows no remorse."

Shelton was also barred from working or associating with children aged under 16 for 15 years and placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for life.

The Salvation Army says it takes child protection seriously and continually monitors and evaluates procedures to ensure young people are protected.

A spokesperson said: "The Salvation Army deplores such behaviour and has co-operated fully with police investigations and conviction means his membership is now withdrawn.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this criminal behaviour.

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