March 2019

Man sentenced after sexual online chat with a 13-year-old girl

A man who took part in sexual online chat with a 13-year-old girl and tried to get her to send him pictures of her boobs was caught after her older sister became concerned.

Despite his explicit messages, when he was arrested Curtis Bishop claimed he did not have a sexual interest in the girl, a judge at Warwick Crown Court has heard.

The 20-year-old, of Elliott Drive, Wellesbourne, was ordered to complete a sex offender programme under a three-year community order after he had admitted sexual communication with a child.

He was also ordered to take part in a rehabilitation activity and to carry out 120 days of unpaid work.

Prosecutor Richard Witcombe said in December 2017 a 13-year-old schoolgirl’s older sister became concerned she was hanging around with older teenagers.

Her sister had also heard her engaging in communication with someone with ‘an adult male voice,’ so told their mother about her concerns, suggesting she check the girl’s phone.

When their mother did so, she found evidence of Snapchat and Facebook messages being exchanged between the girl and Bishop, who was 18 at the time, so contacted the police.

The online phone chat between them had included Bishop asking her to send pictures of a sexual nature, which she had not done, and sending her a picture of himself in his boxer shorts.

There had been requests from Bishop for her to send him pictures of her boobs and bum, and one asking her for sex – to which her answer had been no.

But when arrested and interviewed, although he accepted sending the messages and being aware of her age, he claimed he was not sexually attracted to her.

Imposing the community order, Judge Anthony Potter told Bishop: “I have to sentence you for messages you sent in the latter part of 2017 to a 13-year-old girl.

“The messages I have been told about, sexualised messages indicating that you wanted to have sexual relations and wanted to see sexual pictures of her, were quite inappropriate to send to a 13-year-old girl.

“Because of your continued denial of any sexual attraction towards children of her age, it is considered there is a high risk of you committing sexual offences in the future.

“But the public is best protected not by sending you to custody, but by following the recommendation in the report.”