‘Vulnerable’ man posed online as a teenage girl
A man posed as a teenage girl to get a boy under 13 to send photos and videos exposing himself via social media, a court has heard.
Alan Baxendale, who was described in court as ‘vulnerable’, pleaded guilty to inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
The offence was committed between June and July 2014.
The 31-year-old, of Grangewood Drive, was also made subject to the notification requirements of the sexual offences legislation for five years.
A sexual offences prevention order was also imposed by Judge Philip Babington which includes a number of conditions.
Among them is a ban on the defendant using the internet to contact or attempting to contact any young person under the age of 16.
Derry Crown Court heard the injured party was ten-years-old when Baxendale first made contact with him, via an Xbox games console.
Baxendale claimed he was a 15-year-old boy who went to school in Ireland and didn’t have many friends. He also bought the boy, who lives in England Microsoft points, which are online vouchers.
The boys mother became aware of this and when she heard her son talking to ‘Alan’ became concerned that his voice did not sound like that of a child.
She reported the matter to police, who did not take any further action.
The boy blocked ‘Alan’ from his account, however he continued to try and contact him. He also asked the boy if he was going to be in trouble with the police.
The court heard the injured party began receiving messages on Facebook from the profile of a ‘Sara Duddy’. The profile was owned by someone claiming to be a 13-year-old girl.
They were having conversations everyday and the messages, which were a ‘bit flirty’ at the beginning, became more sexual.
The boy’s mother was a bit suspicious about the profile as there were only 12 Facebook friends, all of whom were young boys.
It was revealed that the boy eventually sent photographs of his genitals to this profile, as well as a video of him performing a sexual act on himself.
Eventually the boy became suspicious and broke off all contact with this profile and the matter was reported to police.
An investigation was launched and the messages were traced to the defendant.
The court heard that the victim found it ‘extremely distressing’ when he discovered he had not been talking to a 13-year-old girl.
Defence counsel Steven Mooney told the court his client is a ‘particularly vulnerable individual’ who is ‘to be more pitied than scorned’.
He said Baxendale’s mental health difficulties are the cause of the offending behaviour and he was ‘not deliberately targeting children for sexual gratification’.
The barrister said the 31-year-old is ‘very sexually immature’ and has never had a relationship.
He added that his client ‘has expressed remorse and knows he has done wrong’.