June 2016

Pervert 41, pretended to be 16 to say ‘rude’ things to 11-year-old girl on Facebook

A man aged 41 pretended to be a 16-year-old boy and made “disgusting” sexual suggestions to a girl of just 11 while chatting to her on Facebook.

He said sexually-charged “rude things” to her and, when the girl’s “horrified” mother discovered the conversations, she felt “sick and angry”, a court heard.

Stephen Hodson, of Kingsway, Cleethorpes, admitted causing or inciting a girl to engage in sexual activity between April 24 and October 3 last year.

Stephen Hodson, of Kingsway, Cleethorpes, admitted causing or inciting a girl to engage in sexual activity between April 24 and October 3 last year.

Andrew Bailey, prosecuting, told Grimsby Crown Court that the girl accepted a friend request from Hodson on Facebook after she wrongly thought he was a friend of her brother.

They spoke on Facebook for several months without problems but he started to say “rude things” that made her feel uncomfortable.

He asked her: “Are you a good girl or a bad girl?” and “I bet you’ll do rude things when you are older.”

The girl did not engage in the sexual conversations. He asked her if she was alone and if anyone else could see the conversations.

Hodson asked her for a photograph of her face but the girl refused to send one. He told her he was 16 years old.

He did not arrange to meet the girl and she blocked him on Facebook but the conversations came to light when her mother found them on the girl’s iPad.

The conversations made the mother “feel sick and angry”.

Richard Hackfath, mitigating, said Hodson led a lonely and isolated life and had suffered health problems with serious physical difficulties. He had been bullied at school because of these.

“He spends too much time by himself and has found an outlet by use of the internet which has led him into serious criminal behaviour,” said Mr Hackfath.

“It is not suggested there was any attempt to make direct face-to-face contact with the complainant.

“There is no suggestion that he has tried to set that up and no suggestion that he has been asking for indecent photos of her.”

Hodson was “naive” but had no previous convictions. He had a caution for assault from 2008.

Recorder Tahir Khan QC told Hodson: “You pretended that you were 16 years old and the two of you chatted over a number of months.”

The girl’s mother was “horrified” when she found the Facebook conversations and was “sick and angry at what she saw, as any parent would be”.

He added: “The things you said to this 11-year-old girl were disgusting and entirely inappropriate.

“As a man of mature years, you should have known that what you were doing was quite wrong.”

Hodson was given a three-year community order, including a sex offenders’ treatment programme, and a sexual harm prevention order for life, banning him from contacting the girl and restricting his contact with other children.

He was ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years and must pay a £60 statutory charge