June 2013

Plymouth man, 50, pretended to be teen to get girls on Facebook

A 50-YEAR-OLD man posed as a teenager to make indecent suggestions to a 14-year-old girl over a social networking site, a court heard.

Sentencing judge Paul Darlow said the age difference between Trevor Ellis and two youngsters he sent messages made his requests “repulsive”.

One of the girls told police she was disgusted and felt “weird” and “scared” when she found her Facebook friend was much older, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

Ellis, of Notte Street, The Barbican, admitted two charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity in 2011. Both girls, aged 14, live in the north of England.

Alistair Verheijen, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said one of the girls started receiving messages from a man on Facebook who claimed he was 17 and later said he was 12. He added he used his real name and then said he was someone else. Mr Verheijen said he asked whether she had performed a sexual act for £5 and asked her to describe her underwear.

The court heard Ellis also asked to have sex with the girl’s mother.

Mr Verheijen read part of a statement from the young victim saying: “It made me feel scared and weird. I was disgusted he was about 50.

“I stopped using Facebook and was worried about incoming calls I did not recognise. I could not sleep.”

Mr Verheijen said the second victim was 14 when she accepted a Friend request on Facebook “out of habit”.

He added Ellis offered her money for sex and asked her too to describe her underwear. The court heard he also asked about sex with members of the family.

Jo Martin, for jobless Ellis, said he was of previous good character until the offences, which dated back two and a half years.

She added: “It is clear that he had no intention to go to the town where the girls lived and he had no capacity to do so. He has no money to do so.”

Miss Martin said he had accepted he would benefit from specialist treatment.

Judge Darlow said: “You sent messages over the internet which would have been repulsive to girls of that age from a man of your age.

“You stopped of your own volition and there was no suggestion of face-to-face contact.”

He handed Ellis a three-year community order with a treatment programme for sex offenders. Ellis must also pay £300 costs.

Ellis was also handed a five-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order which includes making the internet history on any device available to the police