A BUSINESSMAN groomed a schoolboy from Yorkshire for sexual activity after pretending to be a secret agent.
Martin Bevan met the vulnerable 14-year-old on a gay website and initially told him he was in his 40s and was called William.
But in a later text message he revealed his real name was Martin saying he worked for the Government and used the other name because of the “covert” nature of his job.
Leeds Crown Court heard Bevan, 54, subsequently travelled from his Birmingham home and over the course of several weeks had meetings with the schoolboy in a pub near Leeds, buying him sweets, drinks and hot food.
Caroline Wigin, prosecuting, said staff at the pub became increasingly concerned about the contact between the two and challenged Bevan but he claimed to be the boy’s uncle and said he was meeting him there because he had fallen out with the boy’s mother.
They were exchanging up to 200 text messages a day.
Miss Wigin said the boy was naive, not streetwise and usually spent a lot of time accessing social networking sites because he did not have many friends. He would normally confide in his mother but became moody and secretive.
In July last year she had confiscated his mobile phone after finding some text messages on it of a sexual nature but Bevan had simply bought the youth another phone.
On one occasion the boy’s mother saw him talking to Bevan and when she asked him what he was doing he claimed to be just moving into the area.
The next day the youth met Bevan again and was told by him he was having to go to Morocco to rescue a boy as part of his job and did not know when he would see him again.
Bevan said he wanted to say goodbye properly, kissed him and began to perform oral sex on the youth but stopped when he said he was not enjoying it.
Miss Wigin said family members were alerted to concerns and when the boy was confronted at home he claimed nothing was wrong before running away that same night.
He contacted Bevan, who picked him up and drove him to a hotel in Oxfordshire where they spent some hours before he dropped the boy back home the following day.
Bevan, a married man, was subsequently stopped in his car by police who found sweets, a copy of Treasure Island and a Beano wallet in his vehicle.
Bevan, of Clover Avenue, Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham, was jailed for two years after he admitted grooming and one charge of sexual activity with a child. He was also ordered to register indefinitely as a sex offender and barred from working with children.
Judge James Spencer QC said he accepted Bevan had never behaved in such a way before but had groomed the boy by giving fictitious details about himself which he was bound to find “mysterious and attractive”.
Graham Parkin for Bevan said he had suffered a temporary breakdown following financial difficulties in his family run construction business and “it may be he suddenly developed a sexuality issue”.