October 2016

Online pervert pretended to be 12-year-old girl

AN ONLINE gamer who got young boys to smack themselves on the bottom while he watched over Skype has been spared an immediate jail term.

Robert Mulhern groomed the boys, aged 11 or 12, after getting them to join his group playing games like Call of Duty on the internet.

After police spoke to him about the first offences the 23-year-old then pretended to be a 12-year-old girl by creating a fictitious account.

Hannah Squire, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court how the offending started in 2013 with Xbox and PlayStation online gaming.

She said he created internet groups for fellow players and created rules for the younger lads to comply with.

He told them they had to keep their bedrooms tidy and bath regularly, ordering them to send him pictures of themselves in towels to prove it.

“Should they not comply with the rules they had to smack themselves, stand in the corner or put soap, or a soapy flannel, in their mouths,” she said.

The first two lads were contacted on Facebook Messenger and Skype and encouraged to smack themselves while wearing pants as he watched.

He was questioned by police at the time, she said, but told them someone else was running the group with him and he did not contact the younger boys.

She said two years later he had created a profile for 12-year-old Holly Clems which he used to contact more boys in the group.

He asked them to carry out similar acts and also tried to get one lad to show his genitals, which he refused to do.

He also suggested they could meet up with him and he would buy them expensive items, though that never took place he did pay one boy £10.

Mulhern, of Twickenham Close, admitted four counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

He asked for two similar matters, which took place in August this year when he was on bail, to be taken into consideration.

Passing sentence, Judge Sir John Royce said: “It is a highly unusual case. The psychiatric report make very sad reading as does the presentence report, but in particular the psychiatric report.

The judge imposed a two-year jail term, suspended for two years, with 30 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.

He also told he must register as a sex offender for ten years and abide by a sexual harm prevention, restricting his liberty, order for life.