July 2016

Man groomed 2 schoolgirls in 8 months… but walks free again

A groomer walked free from court yesterday – despite admitting his second offence in less than a year.

Sean Thomson, 21, previously avoided jail for having sex with a 14-year-old girl, who he claimed ‘willingly engaged’ in relations with him.

But only eight months later he was sending naked pictures of himself to another girl, aged 15, and encouraging her to send explicit photos in return.

Thomson pleaded guilty at Perth Sheriff Court to grooming the teenager over the course of two months in 2014.

Dodging jail again, he was placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years and fined £1,000. Sheriff Lindsay Foulis told Thomson: ‘At the end of the day you, as an adult, knew full well the person you were communicating with was under the age of 16.’

The same court had heard in an earlier case that he had engaged in sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl who was 13 when they met. He had been warned by the sheriff not to repeat his behaviour.

Thomson knew his previous victim was under age but claimed to be surprised when she turned out to be even younger than she had told him.

In a letter pleading guilty, Thomson said: ‘I wasn’t aware of her age. I thought she was 15. I was shocked when I found out she was 13.’

‘Your conduct was wrong’

In the earlier case, Thomson, of Coupar Angus, Perthshire, also admitted sending the girl social media messages making crude sexual remarks and asking her to send him photographs of her breasts in January 2014.

The offence came to light when police checked the mobile phone of Thomson’s victim in an unrelated incident and discovered the explicit images.

Sheriff William Wood said at the time: ‘I’m told you now accept your conduct was wrong. It is very important you do realise that and don’t let it happen again.’