October 2018

‘Drop the charges…’ This teenage sex offender’s chilling message to one of THREE underage girls he groomed online

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Teenager Liam Proudman has been locked up after he used social media to groom underage girls.

The defendant was aged 18 when he met up with three girls after chatting to them online.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard the defendant:

Asked one girl to have sex with him;

Paid for a taxi to take another girl from her house to his flat in the middle of the night – while her mother was asleep;

Bought a mobile phone for the third girl – and told her she could pay him back with ‘a hug and a kiss, and something else’.

And after his crimes were discovered, he sent a Facebook message to one of the victims telling her to drop the charges.

Now Proudman has been sentenced to three years in a young offenders’ institution for his crimes.

The court heard the offences took place last year. He made contact with the first girl through Facebook and tried to engage her in sexual conversation.

Prosecutor Cathlyn Orchard said: “The defendant was keen for her and her friend to go to his flat. She left her address in the middle of the night, her mother was completely oblivious, to get a taxi to his flat, where he was with his friends.

“The victim’s friend did not go with her. When she arrived alone he became irate and stormed into his bedroom, leaving her with his friends.

“He later started sending her messages wanting her to go into the bedroom with him. He was persistant. He said he just wanted a cuddle, and wanted her to get into bed with him. She said she would not come in.”

The court heard the girl fell asleep on the sofa, and the following day the police were contacted. He was arrested and bailed with a condition not to contact any underage girls.

But he ignored that order and a short time later he contacted another girl via Snapchat and arranged to meet her. He carried on messaging the girl and sent her a photo of his genitals – and asked her to send him a photograph of herself in return.

The court heard Proudman met his third victim after chatting to her on Instagram. He told her he was 16.

Proudman, now aged 19, of Yarnbrook Grove, Norton, was arrested in connection with the third victim in August last year and denied any wrongdoing, claiming he thought she was 16.

Miss Orchard said: “He was bailed on the condition not to contact her. In October he sent a message on Facebook saying, ‘Drop the charges’ and told her to delete the message.”

Proudman pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, sexual activity with a child and two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Sentencing Proudman, Judge David Fletcher said: “There was some planning and grooming behaviour. There was lying about your age, and there were sexual images exchanged.”