Sex pest loner targeted US teens on Facebook
A SEX offender with a ‘fetish for urine’ who messaged what he thought were underage girls on Facebook instructing them to commit lewd acts has avoided a prison sentence.
Burnley Crown Court heard how 19-year-old ‘loner’ Joshua Newton, of Reed Street, Burnley, sent messages to 97 females he thought were under 16.
Prosecuting, Paul Brookwell said 55 of those girls, who are thought to be between 13 and 15, responded with either explicit photos or videos or sexually-charged messages.
He encouraged one of his victims to perform explicit acts with a toothbrush and a pencil.
Newton also sent some of the girls photos of himself performing a sex act.
Mr Brookwell said Newton’s offending only came to light in January 2017 when Lancashire officers were contacted by the authorities in America asking for assistance tracing a man who was sending inappropriate messages to teenagers in the US.
Although police were able to recover material and images relating to Newton’s offending they were unable to identify victims.
Mr Brookwell said that was because Facebook administrators had deleted some of the material after they deemed it inappropriate.
The prosecution could not prove the girls who viewed the explicit photographs or sent material back were under the age of 16.
Newton, who was 18 at the time he committed the offences pleaded guilty to 10 counts of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act and 15 counts of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.
Although all of the offences took place in Burnley in September and October 2016, it is thought the majority of victims were American.
Mr Brookwell said: “All the offences occur on Facebook. They all follow a similar pattern. There is a short conversation, which quickly turns to the subject of sex.
“The defendant then sends a copy and pasted document saying what he would like to do to the female.
“To those individuals that responded there are often other requests made.
“They often go on to various fetishes in relation to urination.”
Mr Brookwell said in one message Newton said he ‘didn’t care she was 13’ and followed it up by saying ‘what he wanted to do to her’
Sentencing Newton to a three-year community order Judge Sara Dodd said she was concerned that if she sent Newton to prison he would be bullied and mixing with more hardened convicted sex offenders. She said she would potentially be ‘creating a monster’.
Judge Dodd added: “When I first read the case file I was convinced that I was going to have to lock you up. But this case doesn’t sit easily in any of the sorts of cases the courts usually have to deal with.”
Newton was given a two-month curfew, ordered to sign the sex offender’s register and told to attend a sex offender’s treatment programme. His access to the internet will be limited.