February 2018

Paedophile asked 12-year-old schoolgirl on Instagram: ‘You got any sexy undies?’

A paedophile who posed online as a teenager asked a 12-year-old schoolgirl if she had any sexy underwear and pressured her to perform a sexual act.

Lee Bateman, 23, from Barry, used photo sharing app Instagram to send sexually explicit messages to the child before being caught by an undercover police officer.

Sentencing at Cardiff Crown Court, Recorder Mark Powell QC told the defendant: “You have an unhealthy interest in pubescent children.”

The court heard Bateman used Instagram to send the girl sexually explicit messages on April 25 and April 28 last year.

Matthew Cobbe, prosecuting, said the defendant asked the child: “You got any sexy undies?”

He told the court Bateman “pressured” the victim to perform a sexual act on herself.

Prosecutors said the conversation with the undercover police officer on April 30 had a “similar tone”.

He claimed he was 16 and the police officer stated she was 12, to which he replied: “Ok, ssshhh.”

The court heard she told him he was shy and he replied: “We can have such fun.”

Police made inquiries and the defendant was identified by his IP address.

He was interviewed on May 26 and denied any responsibility for the conversations, instead trying to blame others.

Bateman, from Wolfe Close, admitted two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one of attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

Derrick Gooden, defending, said his client had no previous convictions and told the court: “He is still a young man.”

He accepted the messages were “offensive, distasteful and disturbing”.

Mr Gooden added: “It is quite clear, whether he chooses to accept it or not, he has an unhealthy interest in children.”

He said his client, who worked for Cash Generator, needed help and asked the judge to make a community order.

But Recorder Powell said the offending was too serious and had to be met with an immediate prison sentence.

He said the pre-sentence report found the defendant tried to minimise his responsibility and judged him to present a high risk of re-offending.

Bateman was jailed for two years and the judge imposed an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

He said the length of the order would depend on whether the defendant responds to treatment.

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