Man posed as boy on internet to win girl’s friendship

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A MAN befriended a young girl by posing as a schoolboy in text messages and on the internet before starting to demand indecent pictures of her.

Stephen Taylor was unmasked as the person behind the charade only after police had tracked him through internet providers.

Stephen Grattage, prosecuting, said the victim was only 13 when she was excited to receive a hand made Valentine’s card at her home in Huddersfield.

It had been hand delivered with her name on the front, was written in childish letters signed “sweetly and simply J” and contained a poem, a mobile number and a request for her to text her MSN details so they could chat online.

Having discussed the card with her mother she did contact the person and email addresses and mobile numbers were exchanged.

Mr Grattage told Leeds Crown Court J went on to give his name as Jeremy Stevenson, saying he was 14 and went to Shelley High School where he played for a school team.

They stayed in touch over the half-term holidays with him telling her she was lovely and meetings were arranged but were always cancelled when it was suggested it was at her home.

She then got a message saying he had got back with his girlfriend. Her reaction was to think “stuff him” and she threw his card away.

But a few days later she received another text saying: “OK I need a topless pic and a full frontal pic” threatening that he had videos of her naked which he would circulate.

He made personal comments about her body and said “you should think of closing your curtains”, adding he wanted the pictures by noon the next day.

Mr Grattage said the girl was distraught but having a good relationship with her mother immediately told her.

The police were informed and began tracing the mail account eventually leading to the defendant’s then address. They were also given the envelope the card had arrived in.

Taylor completely denied being responsible and his son even had a DNA test to exclude him as the offender before Taylor finally admitted responsibility.

Taylor, 48 of Kaye Lane, Huddersfield who admitted inciting a child to sexual activity, was given a three-year community order with supervision, to attend the sex offender treatment programme and pay £1,000 costs.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said such a programme was the best way of protecting the public and ensuring such behaviour did not happen again.

“This was not a spur of the moment offence, it was premeditated, it went on over a period of time and involved you sending untraceable messages of a sexual nature to a 13-year-old. You masquerading under the false identity of a 14-year-old then asked for indecent photos.”

Christopher Tehrani, for Taylor, said his behaviour was out of character under pressure of financial difficulties.