August 2021

Man guilty of grooming 15-year-old girl on Isle of Man

A man who told a 15-year-old girl he loved her after contacting her on social media has been given a six-month suspended sentence.

Daniel Oliphant, 21, was found guilty of grooming the child, but was acquitted of four other charges of indecent assault and gross indecency.

The court heard he had sent messages saying she was a “perfect babe” and the “girl of my dreams” in October 2018.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register for seven years.

The court heard Oliphant, who was 18 at the time, had first contacted the girl on Facebook on 9 October 2018 and sent her a flurry of messages during a two-day period, persuading her to meet with him some time later.

Although the jury found he had intended to engage in sexual activity with the girl, they cleared him of actually committing any offences of that nature at a trial at Douglas Courthouse in July.

A witness impact statement read to the court by prosecutors said the girl had been left sad and anxious by the events and no longer trusted other people.

Sentencing him, Deemster Graeme Cook said the girl was “still a child” at the time of the events and had been “particularly vulnerable”.

The sentence was suspended for a year.