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Last Updated: Monday, 17 March 2008, 15:57 GMT
Man jailed for sex with teenager
Edinburgh High Court
Mierzwa was jailed at the High Court in Edinburgh
A man who had sex with a 16-year-old girl, incapable of giving her consent, has been jailed for three years.

Marek Mierzwa, 29, from Falkirk, was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh for the offence, committed at a Hogmanay party to see in 2007.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has the mental abilities of a younger child.

Mierzwa had claimed he was so drunk he did not know what he was doing and thought the girl was his fiancee.

An earlier trial heard how the girl's mother walked into the bedroom of the house in West Lothian where the party was being held to see her daughter and found the accused with her.

'Not proven'

The woman said that since the incident her daughter had changed from being a cheerful child to being unable to sleep and being scared of everyone who came into the house.

A jury cleared Mierzwa of rape but found him guilty of having sex with a girl protected by law because she is incapable of giving consent.

Jailing him, Judge Roger Craik QC said, "The jury must have thought you were very drunk at the time of commission of this offence and were probably not fully aware of what you were doing.

"Presumably that is the reason for the jury finding the rape charge against you not proven."

But, added the judge, the jury obviously came to the view that Mierzwa should reasonably be expected to know the identity and nature of his victim.

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