February 2019

Angus man sent explicit texts to 14-year-old girl

An Angus pervert will be sentenced next month after admitting sending a flood of sexually explicit text messages to a 14-year-old girl.

Andrew Richards made vile suggestions to the teenager after he was snared in an investigation involving specialist officers attached to the national child exploitation unit.

The girl was known to the Kirriemuir 45-year-old and Forfar Sheriff Court heard Richards had sent the disgusting messages to her after becoming aware the teenager had been caught having consensual sex.

Richards, of Knowehead Crescent, appeared before Sheriff Jillian Martin-Brown, where he admitted an offence which happened between May 31 and July 29 2017, of intentionally and repeatedly sending messages of an explicit sexual nature, for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification or of humiliating, distressing or alarming the girl.

Depute fiscal Jill Drummond read out the obscene content to the court and said the investigation which led to Richards’ arrest had been triggered by an unrelated matter involving the examination of the victim’s mobile phone.

“Child exploitation concerns emerged after it was found she was communicating with numerous persons,” said Ms Drummond.

“A request was made to a specialist unit to examine the contents of the phone and the accused was identified as sending indecent messages.”

The court heard Richards’ crime involved “prolonged” communication over different dates over the three months.

National child abused investigations unit officers interviewed the youngster and she told them she felt pressured into communication with Richards.

A search warrant of the accused’s home was executed in March 2018 but nothing of evidential value was recovered, the fiscal added.

Richards was then traced at his work but gave no comment to police prior to being arrested in connection with the offence.

He initially appeared in private on petition but admitted a complaint at summary level.

Sheriff Martin-Brown told him: “Given the nature of the charge I will defer sentence to obtain a criminal justice report and restriction of liberty order assessment.”

Defence submissions in the case were reserved until March 14, when Richards will return to court for sentencing and he was released on bail.