August 2015

‘Boy’ in sex chat with girl was really Telford man, 31

A judge told a Telford man who pretended to be a teenage boy on Skype while chatting to a young girl he should be “relieved” his offending was discovered when it was.

Adrian Plant, 31, pleaded guilty to inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and to six counts of possessing indecent images of children.

Kevin Jones, prosecuting at Shrewsbury Crown Court, said when Plant’s address had been targeted because he was using a “peer to peer” sharing website.

When police arrived at his home in Calcutts Road, Jackfield, they searched his computer tower and external hard drive and found more than 100 moving images ranging from category A to C, and a  – 65 of which were category A, as well as a further 123 category C still images. Category A are deemed the most serious.

Mr Jones said the images were of children aged between 11 and 14 years old.

While searching his devices, officers found a number of Skype chats between him and a 14-year-old girl where he asked her for images as well as inciting her to engage in sexual activity.

In a victim impact statement the girl, who cannot be identified, said she felt “pressured” but did not give in.

She also said felt harassed and had suffered a breakdown following the conversations.

The court heard how Plant’s conversations with her also resulted in her school work being affected as a result.

Brendan Reedy, defending, said the 31-year-old was “genuinely remorseful” for what he had done.

Mr Reedy said Plant, a design engineer, was from a “respectable” background who was educated locally and at degree level.

Mr Reedy said Plant had been in an abusive relationship and, since ending it, his interest in children had started, something which he had been “very concerned” about.

Mr Reedy said Plant did have an insight into his behaviour.

Judge John Gosling said: “You had in your possession 65 category A images, that’s revolting and very worrying.

“You then pretended yourself that you were a teenage boy and when the girl realised what you wanted she felt so ashamed she would not film her complaint, instead insisted on writing it down. Her school work also suffered as well as her encountering problems with her life.”

Judge Gosling said what stood out in the case was that usually adult men never admit to being sexually interested in children but Plant admitted he did.

“Although you never actually met and engaged in sexual activity with a child, you should be relieved your offending was discovered when it was.” she said.

Plant was sentenced to a three-year community order to run concurrently with each charge, during which he will be supervised by a probation officer.

He was also ordered to take part in a community sex offender group programme.

Plant also had to sign on with police as a sex offender for the next five years as well as be placed on a sexual harm prevention order for five years.

He also was ordered to pay a surcharge and £340 costs.