August 2015

Webcam pervert claimed explicit video chats with schoolgirl were attempt to boost her self-esteem

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A webcam sex predator claimed his explicit chats with a vulnerable schoolgirl were just an attempt to boost her self-esteem after her horrified mother caught him out.

Dwayne Taylor groomed the 14-year-old girl, who suffers from depression, using Blackberry Messenger and Facebook.

He then urged her to set up an account with video-messaging service Skype, before ‘begging’ the ‘confused’ youngster to strip and perform sex acts on camera, which she did.

Taylor, 20, of Ellingham Close, Beswick, was reported to police after the girl’s mother opened her laptop and found a message in which he asked for a sexual image.

Arrested and questioned by officers, Taylor claimed he had been ‘counselling’ the victim after learning she had been self-harming.

He went on to plead guilty to two charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one charge of engaging in sexual activity with a child.

But, at his sentencing hearing, his lawyer maintained his ‘compliments’ – including sexualised remarks -such as ‘how’s your sexy body today’ and ‘I swear you turn me on so bad’, were intended to make the girl feel better about herself.

Virginia Hayton, defending, said: “He felt he could help her, because clearly she was not happy with the way she looked. The nature of the messages were complimentary at the time. He felt that he was helping her feel better by telling her she looked beautiful.”

Judge Martin Steiger QC said there were ‘two ways’ of looking at the case, adding: “He may well have been trying to help her, on the other hand he may well have been masquerading as a counsellor in order to further his ends.”

Mark Monaghan, prosecuting, told court that following his arrest, Taylor told police he wanted to become a counsellor and thought he would ‘jump in and try and give her a hand’.

Sentencing, Judge Steiger said Taylor had ‘groomed’ the girl for his ‘own gratification’.

The court heard the victim had also been in contact with two other men online before Taylor, who was ordered to attend the Northumbria Sex Offenders Treatment Programme as part of a three-year community order.