July 2016

Man exchanged sexual images with 14-year-old girl he met online

A MAN who exchanged graphic sexual images with a 14-year-old girl he had met online has been jailed.

Russell Bollen, of Hardy Crescent in Stalbridge near Sturminster Newton, was aware of the youngster’s age at an early stage but continued to message her, a court heard.

However, he had no plans to meet her, it was said.

The defendant, 24, admitted two counts of causing or inciting a girl aged 13 to 15 to engage in penetrative sexual activity and six of possessing indecent photographs of a child before a judge at Bournemouth Crown Court.

He returned to the court for sentence on Friday, July 22.

Judge Brian Forster QC said Bollen, who works as an electrician, “used his spare time” to “pursue contact” with the victim.

The girl also sent sexual images of her boyfriend to the defendant.

“You quickly became aware of her age and despite being aware of it you continued [the] contact with her,” Judge Forster told Bollen.

“I have been able to look carefully at the flow of messages between you.

“It is apparent that she was fully participating in the exchanges that took place and when it came to the transfer of images, she was willing to suggest that she send you sexual images of her boyfriend.”

Bollen was “socially isolated” at the time the messages were sent, it was said.

“You should have known from an early stage that it was time to stop the exchange,” Judge Forster said.

“For you, what took place is said to have been some sort of fantasy but for the girl, it was real.

“You encouraged her to carry out sexual acts.”

Prosecutor Stuart Ellacott told the court there was an element of “grooming behaviour” to the offences.

Judge Forster said: “There is not much indication that you planned to meet and carry out any acts upon her.

“To a large extent, you were involved in mutual conversation.”

Bollen, who has no previous convictions, was sentenced to a total of 20 months in prison for the offences.

He will also report as a sex offender for 10 years after his release from prison and an indefinite sexual harm prevention order has been made.