July 2014

Holywell man jailed for having sex with under-age girl

A 23-YEAR-OLD man said to have an unhealthy interest in young girls has been jailed for 18 months.

Darren Foster, who had been living at the Llys Emlyn Williams hostel in Holywell had sex with a girl of 15.

Mold Crown Court heard how he kept a naked photo of her and another of her performing a sex act with him. When that relationship ended he contacted two other girls via Facebook and sent sexually explicit messages.

Foster, now living in Scarborough, admitted possessing indecent images of a child and sexual activity with a child. He was placed on the sex offender register for 10 years and a 10-year sexual offences prevention order was also made.

Judge Niclas Parry told him: “You clearly have an unhealthy interest in sexual activity with under-aged girls.”

The evidence clearly indicated that he found girls on social media websites and, to an extent, groomed them. The judge said that the first victim was 15. She had made it quite clear that she wished to have sexual encounters with him, that she instigated them and she made no complaint. But it led to intercourse.

“You need to understand and the public needs to understand that one reason for the legislation is to protect young girls from themselves,” the judge told Foster.

Foster had kept images of the girl topless and performing a sex act on him, the court heard.

It aggravated the matter that when that ended he made contact with another girl of 15 and asked her to send photographs of herself naked.

There was no meeting between them and it appeared that she had exchanged such images with others before meeting Foster on Facebook.

His contact with another girl confirmed his attraction to under-age girls.

The reality was that there were no threats and no duress and that Foster was an immature young man, the judge said.

But a sentence was required which made it clear that young girls would be protected from people like him.

Mr Parry said that but for the fact Foster had stored indecent images, the sentencing starting point would have been much lower.

Andrew Green, prosecuting, said Foster first came to the police’s attention in March of last year when they saw him out in the company of a girl aged 15 in the early hours.

He said that they were just friends and had met on Facebook five weeks earlier, but the police officers were concerned and took the girl home.

Later phone messages of a sexual nature were found to have been sent by Foster.

There had been previous concern about him in 2009 and 2012 that he appeared to be in the company of young girls, although no charges were brought.

But last year a complaint was made that Foster had sent a young girl indecent pictures of himself and had received similar photographs from her.

She had accepted him as a Facebook friend, he was initially friendly but the conversations from him became “dirtier”.

Another girl confirmed that they had sex, that he had said he would wait until she was 16, but she had initiated intercourse.

Myles Wilson, defending, said that the defendant had sex with a girl of 15 but it had been her idea and he had put no pressure on her.

Some messages were sexual and some were affectionate.

But for the images he would have asked for a community order because he was a prime candidate for a sex offender programme to reduce the risk of such a thing happening again.

He had no similar previous convictions and was a vulnerable individual himself.

He suffered from depression since the age of 14, had self harmed, and he would clearly find prison difficult.

“He presents and behaves as a teenager rather than the 23-year-old that he is,” Mr Wilson added.