Northampton man made up fake family member fantasy to chat to underage girls online
A 42-year-old Northampton man, who went under the username ‘I love piercings’, to explicitly chat to underage girls on an foreign online forum, has been handed a 34-month sentence.
He also breached a sexual harm and prevention order issued by Northampton Magistrates’ Court and failed to adhere to the sexual offences register, the court heard.
Lee Murray, formerly of High Street, Weston Favell, was sentenced in Northampton Crown Court after pleading guilty to two counts of breaching a sexual offenders order, failure to comply with notification requirements and three counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
He pleaded not guilty to one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. Sentencing, judge Michael Fowler said: “When considering the sentence in relation to offences, I have regarded that sexual activities with children did not take place but you were discussing them at a level that included penetration.”
Back in January this year, Murray entered an online chat forum under the identity ‘I love piercings’ – not registered with police – and spoke to four girls under 16 years old via his mobile phone.
In one message thread with a 14-year-old girl, prosecuting, Almas Ben-Aribia said the defendant’s conversation started with him claiming that he had a private part of his body pierced while he posed as a 30-year-old man, 12 years younger than his actual age. He also made up a fake family member to entice girls to chat with him.
The defendant was later arrested and interviewed on June 15, 2017. “He told police in his interview that he got a sexual thrill from the chats,” the prosecution added. He accepted he had not registered the name ‘I love piercings’ with police and that the family member was made up.
Murray, who appeared via video link, was sentenced to 34 months and has been placed on the sex offenders register for life.
Defence barrister Ammolak Bains said: “He made full and frank admissions to offences.” He was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 15 years and is banned from working with children.
He will serve half of the prison sentence in custody and the rest on licence.
Judge ‘very surprised’ at police caution for sex offender
A judge has expressed his surprise that a sex offender who admitted having sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl five years ago was only given a caution by police.
Lee Murray, aged 41, of High Street, Weston Favell, avoided court prosecution in 2011 after he was found to have engaged in sexual activity with a young teenage girl on three occasions after meeting her online.
Priyi Bakshi, prosecuting, said Murray had paid for the girl’s taxi fares to and from his address.
Murray was given a sexual harm prevention order in 2014, which had a number of conditions including a ban on him deleting his internet history or from contacting girls under the age of 18.
Northampton Crown Court heard on Tuesday Murray contacted a 14-year-old girl after she put an advert online on the Gumtree website appealing for baby-sitting jobs.
Ms Bakshi said Murray contacted the girl and pretended he had a 13-year-old daughter who needed an “older sister”.
Murray then sent the girl text messages from a different mobile phone pretending to be the daughter.
The court heard the messages were of a sexual nature.
Murray was arrested and several mobile phones were recovered from his address, and a number had the internet history deleted from them.
He pleaded guilty to breaching the terms of his sexual harm prevention order.
Judge Michael Fowler said he was “very surprised” that Murray had been given a caution by the police after he admitted having sexual activity with a child.
He said: “This case has a somewhat unusual history as you have not been in trouble with the courts before, although the circumstances you were given a caution lead me to be very surprised there was no court prosecution.”
Murray was given a three-year community order and must complete the sex offenders rehabilitation programme.