Dad posed as teen to entice young girls
A married dad pretended to be an Canadian hunk with film-star looks to groom young schoolgirls.
Martin Easton, 32 had a wife and three children at home.
But unknown to his family he had created a fake Facebook profile – complete with fake photographs – pretending he was a teenage heart throb from halfway around the world, Newcastle crown court heard.
Easton, of Park Terrace Swalwell, Gateshead, contacted a 14-year-old girl over the internet and asked her for indecent photos.
She soon realized he was much older from the words he was using and logged off, the court heard.
But Easton had already spent a year grooming another 14-year-old girl during a long running grooming process over the web and by text.
Judge Roger Thorn QC said: “You adopted a false persona, a young Canadian aged 17 to 18, with a photo of almost film-star proportions to a youngster.
“You clearly have a very embedded sexual interest in underage girls.”
Easton admitted inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, causing her to watch a sexual act and attempting to facilitate the commission of a child sex offence.
He also pleaded guilty to possessing an indecent photograph of the 14-year-old he had befriended after he persuaded her to send him a topless shot.
Easton was given a 12-month jail term suspended for two years with supervision.
He must attend a sex offender treatment programme and register with police for the next seven years.
James Adkin, prosecuting, said a check of Easton’s fake Facebook account showed he had 75 friends.
Mr Adkin added: “The vast majority were females aged about 14.”
The mother of the girl Easton befriended told in a victim impact statement how the family had to leave the area.
Gavin Doig, mitigating, said Easton had lost his marriage, job and had almost no contact with his children since his arrest last year.
He told the court: “He is the only person to blame and that is a great burden on his conscience.
“He didn’t have any intention to meet the girls, there was no physical contact and he has no previous convictions.”