A 25-year-old Gipsy man was sentenced to six years in prison in the UK because he had sex with his 12 years-old pregnant wife. In addition to conviction, the young man will registered for a period of 10 years in the UK sex offenders register.
According to the British press, the young man and his wife, both of Gipsy origin, had illegally married in Romania last year before moving to England.
According to the prosecutor who dealt with the case, the legal age for marriage in Romania is 16 years old, just like in the UK. In Romania, nobody would have complained about the age difference between the two.
The illegal marriage of the two young people was revealed by British policemen on April 7, when the two were stopped at a car wash in Epping for a routine check-up. Subsequently, the law enforcement officials inspected the house where the two lived, discovering that they shared the same bed.
The lawyer of the young man said the case was exceptional with unusual circumstances. She added that although the marriage was illegal, there was no exploitation or constraint, but a marriage consent.
"This is a widespread practice, an old tradition that is still used today. The marriage of a young woman and an older man is not an extraordinary event in their culture. He follows this tradition and is trapped in it," said Mrs. Kenyon, the convict's lawyer.
On the other hand, the judge said sexual activity with children is against the law, regardless of the customs of their home country.
The girl is currently in Romania and is due to give birth in a few weeks, and the young man intends to re-establish his relationship when he gets out of prison.