June 2018

‘Enormous’ age difference between man messaging 14-year-old girl online

A man was put on the sex offenders’ register after he sent an internet message offering to pour wine over a 14-year-old girl’s body.

She did not exist but her Facebook identity was created to check Martin Brandon because of worries about his relationship with a real child, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

A 12-month prison term, suspended for two years, was ordered for Brandon, 38, of Kildare Road, St Ann’s. He had been convicted of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child.

Judge James Sampson told him: “If it had been a real child, I am not sure where it would have ended up. The age discrepancy is enormous and there is a somewhat suspicious background involving a real child.

“You will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order which will monitor your internet use and prevent you having contact with children under 16.”

James Varley, prosecuting, said a man set up the false Facebook profile amid concerns over Brandon’s link with a schoolgirl.

In exchanges, the make-believe girl spoke about being 14, going to school and “having an argument with her mum,” said Mr Varley.

“At one point, he said he could be set up by someone and put LOL at the end. Unfortunately for him, he continued to contact her,” said Mr Varley.

One message referred to her spending the night at his home. “He said he would buy some wine and pour wine over her,” said Mr Varley.

Brandon arranged to meet the girl but did not turn up. When the invented girl asked why, he replied: “Oh, I was sick.”

As part of the punishment, he must spend 20 days with probation officers dealing with alcohol problems and curbing similar offending.

Brandon will be on the sex register for ten years. The sexual harm prevention order also lasts for a decade.