Nine months in jail for man who sent undercover police officer indecent messages
A sex offender has been sentenced to nine months in prison for sending three indecent messages over an app to an undercover police officer.
Darren Dowling-Wright (44) was sentenced in the Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to improper use of telecommunications, by sending the obscene and indecent messages.
Legal adviser Paul Lee, prosecuting, said that Dowling-Wright had used the messaging app Kik on 3 March last year to message another man in an online group. The man was actually an undercover officer.
Dowling-Wright showed interest in what the other person had done with a child and if they had taken any photos, according to Mr Lee, and also sent the undercover officer an indecent image.
Mr Lee said Dowling-Wright also indicated during the online exchange that he used the messaging service because it was ‘more secure’ and that WhatsApp gave out ‘too much information’.
The prosecutor told the court that the messages were sexually motivated, that Dowling-Wright posed a risk to the public and that he should be placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register.
Dowling-Wright was arrested a few days after the exchange, the court was told, and the iPhone from which he sent the messages was seized.
The case had taken this long to get to court due to how extensive the investigation had been, the court heard.
In sentencing, Assistant Magistrate Peter Harris said there was a ‘clear sexual motivation for the offence’ and placed Dowling-Wright on the register for at least five years, alongside his prison sentence.
He also issued a restraining order for five years, ordered the forfeiture of the iPhone and told him he must have no contact with children under 16.