Teenager who sent sexual messages to girl is spared jail

A YOUNG man who sent sexual messages to a “vulnerable” 12-year-old girl online has been spared jail.

Joel Senior was 17 when he contacted his victim via Snapchat and exchanged messages which were at first innocent but then turned sexual, Sheffield Crown Court heard on Monday.

Mr Ian Goldsack, prosecuting, said the evidence included “quite a large number of screenshots of messages” between the two, some of which were sexually graphic in content.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Court documents said the offending had been committed in Rotherham in the summer of 2019 but 21-year-old Senior was now said to be of no fixed abode.

The complainant had refused to give a formal statement about what had happened — although she admitted to messaging Senior and telling him her age — but her mother had spoken to the police, he said.

Mr Goldsack said the two had started to exchange messages in June 2019.

After discovering what had happened, the victim’s mum had contacted social services and the police had become involved, he added.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Senior had made his first approach by asking the complainant whether he recognised her from somewhere, the court heard.

He had then proceeded to ask personal questions about whether the complainant had a brother and what they were doing, but later turned the conversation to sexual matters.

In a victim personal statement, the victim’s mum said the girl was “vulnerable”.

Mr Glenn Parsons, mitigating, said a psychological report suggested the defendant, who had no previous convictions, had a “relatively low IQ”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He noted Senior had been “still a child at the time” of the offending and said he suffered from dyslexia, autism, anxiety and depression.

Mr Parsons said: “This was a one-off offending and it was out of character.

“He admitted he was drinking and taking drugs.

“He needs help. He’s a young man.

“He acknowledges he did something wrong.”

Senior was sentenced to a 24-month community order and 60 rehabilitation activity requirement days after admitting causing or inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity by penetration.

Recorder Benjamin Nolan, instructed Senior him to take part in The New Me Strengths Programme and imposed a five-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and a five-year restraining order.  



Related topics: