November 2015: Daniel Doherty has now been released

April 2015

Internet groomer classed as ‘high risk’ to young boys

6

A sheriff has jailed a Port Glasgow pervert who sent a string of lewd and indecent images and messages to a 12-year-old boy

Daniel Doherty, 32 was locked up for three years and placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years after being classed as ‘high risk’ to children by behavioural experts

Greenock Sheriff Court heard how Doherty’s approaches to the youngster were discovered after his grandmother accessed the victims computer

Sheriff Derek Hamilton also took the unusual step of ordering that Doherty be banned from the social network site ‘Facebook’ and that he be allowed only one mobile phone upon his release from prison

March 2015

Pervert convicted for on-line sex offences

A PORT pervert preyed on a frightened 12-year-old child online by using a false identity and bombarding him with a series of sickening sexual advances.

Daniel Doherty, 32, ‘groomed’ his schoolboy victim and told him he wanted to meet up and kiss him after targeting the youngster on Facebook.

Doherty took on the persona on the social network of someone whom the lad thought he knew — then lured him into his vile fantasies by asking to be his ‘friend’.

He went on to send the boy smutty pictures of himself, tried to engage him in inappropriate chat and also told him that he ‘loved’ him.

Greenock Sheriff Court heard how the flow of disgusting messages came after he sparked up an initial chat by calling the child ‘mate’ and asking what he was up to.

Doherty’s fictitious online personality included a profile picture of someone else.

Prosecutor Pamela Brady told how the victim — who had turned 12 just three months previously — was enjoying a break at his grandmother’s house when Doherty first messaged him.

The fiscal depute said: “The complainer did not recognise the profile picture but he thought it was his gran’s friend’s son.

“The accused started asking him questions about girls and if he’d ‘done anything’ with girls.

“He also asked the boy if he had a six-pack and then sent a picture of himself with no top on.

“The accused began asking him if he liked to wear jeans or jogging bottoms and also what type of underwear he liked.”

Doherty sat with his head bowed in the dock, staring at the floor, as the facts of his behaviour were narrated in court.

Mrs Brady told how he made the boy feel ‘uncomfortable’ by sending a picture of himself in underwear and another with his hand down his shorts.

But Doherty kept his victim communicating with him by chatting about football before diverting back to his sordid aims.

The court heard that Doherty told the boy that he ‘couldn’t tell anyone’ about his messages to him, which made the victim feel ‘more and more uncomfortable’.

He also asked the child if he had access to the live online video messaging service Skype.

Prosecutor Mrs Brady said: “The accused asked the complainer where he stayed and indicated that he wished to meet up with him.

“He sent a message asking the complainer if he would kiss him.”

Mrs Brady told the court that Doherty’s messages became ‘increasingly sexual’ and that he declared to the child that he was aroused.

The fiscal depute said: “The complainer was embarrassed.”

Doherty was caught after the victim’s grandmother saw that the boy was still logged in to his Facebook account on a tablet computer after he’d gone for a bath.

Mrs Brady said: “She read the messages and formed the view that her grandson was being groomed. She became angry and upset about it.

“The 12-year-old didn’t realise that this person on Facebook was in fact a stranger and thought he was speaking to a person he had known.”

The court heard how the boy’s mother logged into her son’s Facebook account after being alerted by the grandmother.

Mrs Brady said: “The mother couldn’t quite believe what she was reading and was utterly disgusted.

“She phoned the police.”

Doherty quickly deleted his false Facebook account after receiving a ‘friend request’ from a woman and asking his victim if he knew who she was.

But the incriminating series of messages remained, complete with the IP (internet protocol) address of where they originated from — Doherty’s home in Port Glasgow.

The 12-year-old victim told police that he was ‘a bit scared’ by Doherty’s advances.

Detectives carried out a 7.30am raid on the house where Doherty lived with his parents in Cardross Avenue on 4 April last year and seized computers.

Fiscal depute Mrs Brady said: “It was explained to the accused’s parents why the police had attended and both of them became very distressed.”

The court heard that Doherty was turned in to the police by his father after confessing: “I’m sorry, it was me.”

Shamed Doherty, currently on bail to an address in McLean Place, Paisley, admitted on indictment through lawyer Ellen Macdonald to intentionally sending the boy sexual written communication between 12 and 17 October 2013.

Mrs Brady said: “It is quite clear that the 12-year-old was affected by the nature of the communication, which caused upset and horror to his family and had impact on the Doherty family.”

Doherty had been also been charged with targeting another 12-year-old boy in an identical way but his not guilty plea to this was accepted by the Crown.

Sheriff Derek Hamilton deferred sentence for a background report and ordered Doherty to register with the police as a sex offender.

The Facebook predator is due to learn his fate on 8 April.