April 2015

Married man set up fake Facebook profile to send explicit pictures to girl, 13

dobbs1

A 42-year-old husband set up a fake Facebook profile pretending to be someone much younger – and who sent dirty pictures of himself to a 13-year-old girl has escaped a prison sentence

Anthony Dobbs persuaded the teenager to become his internet friend after setting up the fake online profile, whilst pretending to be much younger.

“He even posted pictures of a young male, saying it was him”, prosecuting counsel Rebecca Griffiths told Cardiff Crown Court.

“He talked about other youngsters he was aware the girl knew, in order to get her to accept him as a ‘friend’.

“And within a month or so, he had sent her the first picture of himself while sexually aroused.

“Other pictures, some with him exposed, others in his boxer shorts, followed.”

Dobbs who at the time had been in a relationship with his wife for 13 years and married for three years, later told the girl he could not reveal his true identity because he had too much to lose.

But eventually he did tell her who he was and she recognised him.

Ms Griffiths said: “The messages continued even then, although the girl told him to stop what he was doing and said she knew he had a wife and children.

“There were suggestive messages like ‘would have met you at the bus stop and given you one’”

When the contact eventually came to light and Dobbs’ wife was shown the pictures, she confirmed his identity although his face couldn’t be seen.

“She said she felt physically sick.”

Dobbs, of Wern Road, Sebastopol, Pontypool admitted to police he set up the false Facebook account just to contact the girl saying he “didn’t know where his head was” at the time.

His mother had been diagnosed with cancer and had since died and the girl made him forget what was happening in his life.

He claimed it had just been a laugh and a fantasy and he would never have actually intended to meet her for sex.

Defence counsel Hilary Roberts said: “He’s been a hard working man and was leading a seemingly ordinary family life.

“But this has put his life in turmoil and he’s been dismissed from his job as a result.”

Pre-sentence reports on Dobbs, who admitted a charge of inciting a child into sexual activity, claimed he wouldn’t face up to what he had done.

Judge Thomas Crowther QC told him the law was in place to protect children from adults like him and rejected as “ludicrous” Dobbs’ claims that it had been only fun and not sexually gratifying for him.

“She was a child and it is disturbing you were harbouring sexual thoughts.

“It is also worrying see from the report that you were previously arrested in relation to serious allegations involving an older young person, a matter which was not pursued.”

The judge said it was his duty was to protect the public and that was best done by imposing a three-year sex offender intensive treatment programme.

The alternative was a short prison sentence and release after just a few months, with no follow-up intervention.

Dobbs name was put on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order was imposed to restrict his future contact with young people.