July 2017

Leeds Facebook pest offered girls cash to take off clothes

A sex offender offered schoolgirls up to £10,000 to take some of their clothes off for him, a court heard.

Martin Joseph Rhodes contacted teenagers on Facebook using three different accounts.

During their conversations he would begin to raise sexual topics with the girls, suggesting they do striptease for him and in June 2011 offered one 15-year-old £2,000 to partially strip on a webcam.

Charlotte Eastwood prosecuting told Leeds Crown Court yesterday Rhodes, of Moseley Wood Gardens, Cookridge, Leeds, also suggested the girl might want to have sex with him for money.

The girl stopped responding to his messages but his contact came to light after her boyfriend discovered the exchanges and the girl’s mother was told.

She reported the matter and that led police to Rhodes, who admitted having been in contact with numerous other girls.

His mobile phone and laptop were seized and some girls were traced, with eight specimen charges brought.

One victim, a 15-year-old girl, said as soon as they started messaging Rhodes asked intimate questions.

She told him her age but he offered £10,000 to see her breasts. She did not respond but he continued to send messages, making indecent suggestions.

Kama Melly representing Rhodes said he was immature and had since sought counselling.

He had never been in trouble before.

Rhodes, 21, admitted eight charges of causing or inciting girls under 16 to engage in sexual activity and one of possessing M-cat.

Judge Rodney Jameson QC imposed a three-year community order with supervision and a high activity requirement saying that appeared to be the best way in the interests of society in general to ensure no repetition.

“I don’t intend to minimise the seriousness of what you did, it involved contacting a large number of girls and making sexual suggestions to them.”