September 2016

Pervert lied about his age on Facebook to underage girls he seduced

A MAN who had sexual relations with two underage girls he met over Facebook has avoided going straight to jail.

Dane Guppy, aged 26, gave a false name and lied about his age to meet girls aged 13 and 14, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

But a judge accepted that he was not setting out to seduce children – but to sell them and others tobacco.

Suspending his prison sentence, judge Ian Lawrie told him: “You took advantage of their inexperience for your own sexual purposes.”

But he added that Guppy himself was immature and took into account his previous good character and guilty plea.

Unemployed Guppy, of Courtlands Road, Tavistock, pleaded guilty to meeting a girl after grooming and two counts of sexual activity with a child in the South Hams between May and November 2014.

The court heard he had sex with one of the girls and kissed and hugged the second girl, who touched him indecently over his clothing.

Garth Richardson, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Guppy claimed to be called Billy James, aged 18, on a Facebook page.

He added that he used the site to sell contraband tobacco, including illegally to people under 16.

Mr Richardson said that conversations with the two victims became sexual and he arranged to meet them.

He added that one of the girls was left crying and in tears after he made sexual advances to her in his car.

Ali Rafati, for Guppy, said he has set up the Facebook page not to meet underage girls but to sell contraband tobacco – including to some customers under 16.

He added that he was himself immature but had two children by different women.

Mr Rafati said: “He is someone who needs help. But he would not qualify for sex offender treatment unless he receives six years in jail.

“He has not set out on a deliberate course of communicating with underage women to seduce them.”

Judge Lawrie gave Guppy a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, with 30 days of supervision with probation to deal with internet-based sex offending.

He must also pay £750 towards prosecution costs and £100 victim surcharge.

Guppy must sign the Sex Offender Register for a decade.