February 2015

Pervert caught hugging 13-year-old on bench after asking her for explicit photos on Facebook

Simon Hay

A pervert who was spotted hugging a 13-year-old girl after asking her for explicit photos on Facebook has been jailed for two years.

Simon Hay, 30, pleaded guilty to child abduction after passers-by saw him with the teenager in Piccadilly Gardens last June.

Manchester Crown Court heard how Hay, a father-of-one, met her after chatting online following a chance meeting on the social media site.

He asked the girl for explicit photos and offered to send her his own indecent images.

Prosecuting, Justin Hayhoe said Hay, from Moston, accepted the girl’s friend request adding that her profile stated she was 17, but that they continued to contact each other after she admitted her real age.

Initial messages on Facebook included the girl asking if Hay missed her, to which he replied: “You’re a kid, why would I?”

The court was told that at one point Hay offered to buy her alcohol for a party and discussed meeting up. He also told her he used cocaine and called her ‘darling’ and ‘sweetheart’.

When the girl said her parents had given her money to buy trainers, he suggested they meet up in Manchester.

He also sent her another explicit message asking for illicit photos, which she did not send.

Mr Hayhoe said the girl’s parents where not aware their daughter intended to meet Hay.

Members of the public alerted the police when the pair were spotted hugging on a bench in Piccadilly Gardens, before Hay was arrested.

Mitigating, Andrew Higginson told the court that Hay, who has a string of convictions for offences including battery and assault, has issues with drugs and alcohol.

He said Hay admitted he needs help to tackle ‘underlying issues of a sexual nature’ and was remorseful for ‘exploiting’ the teenager.

Sentencing, Judge Martin Rudland, told Hay his initial contact with the girl started out innocuous, but quickly became ‘flirty, foolish’ and ‘extremely inappropriate’.

“It rapidly escalated,” he added.

“You gave yourself permission to engage with her in what was an encounter leading purely in a sexual direction.

“She was young, immature and foolish, but you weren’t.

“You should have stopped it and not allowed her to go down this course of contact with you.”