Leeds pervert sent aubergine emojis to '14-year-old boy' on Grindr

Leeds Crown Court
Leeds Crown Court
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A PAEDOPHILE sent a naked photograph of himself and aubergine emojis to who he thought was a 14-year-old boy in foster care during a police sting operation, a court heard.

Leeds Crown Court heard 26-year-old Lee Brown, of Swarcliffe Drive, Swarcliffe, engaged in sexual conversation with the boy just 11 days after he was arrested for a similar offence.

Prosecutor, Michael Greenhalgh, said police set up dummy social media accounts in the names of 12-year-old boy called Noah and Dylan, 14.

Brown had sexual conversations with Noah on Grindr, Instagram and Kik between November 28 2018 and January 30 2019.

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Mr Greenhalgh said Noah told Brown he was 12, nearly 13, adding: "The defendant responded by saying he wasn't bothered how old he was and it was cool."

Mr Greenhalgh added: "The defendant asked Noah to meet up and told him he wouldn't hurt him ."

The court heard Brown sent Noah an indecent image of himself.

Brown was arrested on February 21 and admitted what he he had done, but was not charged at that stage.

Brown started engaging in sexual conversations with Dylan on March 4 on Grindr, the court heard.

Mr Greenhalgh said: "Dylan told the defendant he was in foster care and would be sent to Wales if he was caught communicating on Grindr."

The court heard Brown sent Dylan a naked photograph of himself.

Mr Greenhalgh said: "He called Dylan sexy and sent him emojis of aubergines.

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"The defendant tells Dylan he is in trouble with the police for communicating with an undercover operative who he thought was 12."

Brown arranged to meet Dylan in Shipley on March 7 and was arrested by police, who discovered two unused condoms in his car.

Brown, who has no previous convictions, admitted two charges of attempting to communicate sexually with children and one charge of attempting to meet a child following grooming.

Mitigating, Jane Cooper said Brown had been in custody for 13-weeks-and-three-days.

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Judge Robin Mairs told Brown: "You have certain vulnerabilities yourself. There have been events in your childhood that have affected you deeply."

Judge Mairs sentenced Brown to a two-year prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered him to take part in a 90-day sex offender treatment programme.

Judge Mairs also made a ten-year sexual harm prevention order and said Brown's name will be on the sex offender register for ten years.