October 2016

Man spared jail for Facebook bid to have sex with girl, 15

A 30 year old Brockworth man with a ‘very low IQ’ has been spared jail after he used Facebook to try to entice a 15 year old girl to have sex.

Ashley Rogers of Vicarage Court, Brockworth, pleaded guilty at Gloucester Crown Court yesterday to attempting to incite the girl into having non-penetrative sexual activity during January 2015.

He was sentenced to three years probation with a 60 day activity programme and fined £40. He was also ordered to sign the sex offender register.

Prosecutor Janine Wood said the offence began when Rogers, using the false name Ben Jones, made a friend request to the girl on Facebook. She thought he was a boy she had met a couple of years earlier and she accepted.

When she began chatting with him via the social media site she noticed that most of his other friends appeared to be girls pictured wearing underwear, said Mrs Wood.

“He asked her about herself and suggested meeting her in Cheltenham,” she said.

“He also asked her for her mobile number and she gave it to him. He then texted her saying what he wanted to do to her, which she found disgusting. That was on January 29 last year.”

Mrs Wood told the judge “Your Honour has the text of what was said between them and I won’t repeat it in court. “

Judge Jamie Tabor QC said “It was getting pretty gross.”

Mrs Wood said the girl’s mother became concerned and took the girl’s phone from her. She saw the defendant trying to contact her daughter again on January 30 and February 3.

“Again he was saying what he would like to do to her,” said Mrs Wood. “But she did not take the bait and she did not encourage him. She made excuses. When he asked to meet her she said she couldn’t.

“The police were then informed and made enquiries which led to the defendant in Vicarage Court.

“Among property seized from his home, including his mobile phone, was a packet of girls pants for age group 13/14. The seized phone was found to be the one that had been used to create the false Facebook account.”

Mrs Wood said Rogers had one previous conviction, when he was 26, when he got a conditional dischgarge after a missing girl was found in his company.

At the start of the case yesterday Judge Tabor had questioned whether it was really in the public interest to prosecute Rogers given his IQ of only 69 – in the bottom two percent of the population.

But Mrs Wood said the Crown Prosecution Service had reviewed the case and decided to proceed.

Sentencing Rogers the judge said “You know what you did was wrong. You knew it was wrong because you had to pretend to be someone else.

“Although you may not be the sharpest tool in the box you knew how to do that. It was a bad thing to do.

“I accept you did it partly out of loneliness and I have some sympathy for you if you are lonely but you must not do this sort of thing again.

“You would do far better to find a young woman nearer your own age and talk to her face to face rather than have secretive messages with girls you should not be messaging at all.”