May 2021

Pervert snared after believing he was sending explicit chats to underage girl online

A man who asked what he believed to be an underage girl to send him naked pictures was actually chatting to a member of a vigilante group.

Floren Constantine Dan thought he was chatting to a 14-year-old girl online, but was really speaking to a member of a voluntary organisation called the Child Online Safety Team.

Dan asked the decoy to send him explicit pictures before travelling to Durham train station in the hope of meeting her.

The 29-year-old appeared at Teesside Crown Court on Monday to be sentenced for intending to meet a child following sexual grooming and sending a sexual communication to a child.

Ms Glover, prosecuting, said on April 4 a member of the Child Online Safety Team, a voluntary organisation, was operating in an online chat room posing as a 14-year-old girl.

Dan then contacted the decoy.

Ms Glover said Dan was twice told that they were 14-years-old and he gave his actual age.

After the chats turned explicit, he then asked her to send him intimate pictures of herself before he sent one of himself.

Days later Dan travelled to Durham train station expecting to meet her, but was instead arrested.

She said he committed the offences at a time when he had lost his job during the covid pandemic.

Sentencing Dan, of Aire Street, central Middlesbrough, Recorder Alex Menary handing him a two year prison sentence and made him subject to a 10 year sexual harm prevention order.

He will also be on the sex offender register for 10 years.