Student, 20, who repeatedly raped girl, 12, he met on Tinder avoids jail after judge said he was 'immature' and thought she was over 16 while his 'sexualised' victim acted 'suggestively'

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Jachin Joshua Mascall, 20, from Dunstable, met girl on the dating app last yearStudent admitted to raping a child under 13 and spent seven months in custodyWas sentenced to community order for three years with 200 hours unpaid work  Must complete 40 days'  rehabilitation and 48 sessions of 'maturity' programme

A student who repeatedly raped a 12-year-old girl he met on Tinder avoided jail after a judge said he was ‘immature’ and thought she was over 16, while his victim behaved in a ‘sexually suggestive’ way. 

Jachin Joshua Mascall, 20, met the girl on the dating app last year and travelled to London from Dunstable, Bedfordshire, to meet her.

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They spent two days travelling around the capital together and had sex in various locations including the car park at Westfields Stratford Shopping Centre last May.

Following his arrest, Mascall admitted having sex with the girl, who was two months short of her 13th birthday, but insisting he genuinely thought she was over 16.

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He admitted three counts of rape of a child under 13 at Inner London Crown Court and spent seven months in custody until he was released on bail last month.

Jachin Joshua Mascall, 20, met the girl on the dating app last year and travelled to London from Dunstable, Bedfordshire, to meet her

Global Tech News Daily

Jachin Joshua Mascall, 20, met the girl on the dating app last year and travelled to London from Dunstable, Bedfordshire, to meet her

Judge Freya Newbery said there was ‘no suggestion’ Mascall had ‘any paedophile tendencies at all’ – adding that he thought she was an adult because ‘she had a car and a place to live’. 

‘What there is instead is a young man who is relatively ordinary, immature and possibly naïve,’ she said. 

‘You said in your interview that you thought she was an adult because she was on Tinder saying she was an adult.

‘And you’ve explained that because she had a car and a place to live that she was of course an adult.

‘In other words, you didn’t know that she was 12 or that she was under 16. You were shocked to discover that she was so young when you were arrested.’

The judge went on to describe CCTV footage of the pair together.  

‘It shows that she wasn’t in distress while she was with you and at one point she seemed to act in a sexually suggestive way towards you,’ she said. 

‘She was undoubtedly a highly vulnerable child herself. She was sexualised and active on social media, including Tinder, pretending to be an adult.

‘The law does exist to protect vulnerable people like her, even from themselves.’

Mascall did not groom and exploit the girl and he did not use force, she added, but because of her age she could not consent.

Judge Newbery accepted he met the girl innocently on Tinder but said he should have checked her age.

‘When you were communicating with her, you were hoping that you might have a relationship with her,’ she said.

‘What you were looking for was a girlfriend, not a victim.’

She said Mascall was living in a car at the time of the offences, having been kicked out of the family home. 

Marion Smullen, defending, said: ‘Since he has been on bail there has been absolutely no difficulty with him whatsoever.

‘He has applied to Birmingham University to do a culinary arts degree. He had never come before the criminal courts before he pleaded guilty to these matters.

‘He comes from a very close and supportive family. They are fully aware of the facts of this case but have continued to support him.

‘There is no suggestion he will offend again.’

Mascall, of Dunstable, was sentenced to a community order for three years with 200 hours unpaid work and he must pay £450 in costs.

He must also complete 40 days of rehabilitation activity and 48 sessions of a programme designed to encourage maturity.

The prosecution had accepted it was plausible that Mascall did not know the girl’s true age as he met her on Tinder.

Judge Newbery told him: ‘And so it is the prosecution’s case that you believed that she could consent to sexual activity with you and that it was a reasonable belief for you to have at the time.

‘Not just when you first met but over the time that you were together from May 3 to 5 when these rapes were committed.

Mascall admitted three counts of rape of a child under 13 at Inner London Crown Court and spent seven months in custody until he was released on bail last month

Mascall admitted three counts of rape of a child under 13 at Inner London Crown Court and spent seven months in custody until he was released on bail last month

‘On May 3 when you met up with her you travelled to London and met up with her late. You say that it was upon her invitation that you came to London and as best as I can see with the limited information I have, I can see that’s entirely plausible.

‘You were 19 and just at that time were sofa surfing. You come from a supportive and close family but at that time your relatively straight religious parents had turned you out because they perceived you had been acting wrong-headed.

‘They thought you were living with a friend but you were sofa surfing and living in a car.

‘Some people unfamiliar with the case might ask, why would you believe she was over 16?

‘What I do know is that you were described by the first probation officer as presenting as immature even for your young age.

‘This is an exceptional case where exploitation is absent.’ 

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