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Facebook sex predator gets second prison term

A MIDDLE-AGED man has been given a second prison sentence for the sexual exploitation of young teenage girls by using Facebook.

The 42-year-old entered a guilty plea minutes before his trial was due to take place yesterday. He admitted a charge of sexually exploiting a 16-year-old girl in 2010 by inviting or inducing her to engage in a sexual or indecent act. The separated father-of-four was jailed for nine years last year after being convicted of grooming a 14-year-old girl for sex.

And he is being sought by police in Scotland after being detected in a sting operation four years ago. He was identified by an undercover policewoman while making contact with teenage girls on internet chat rooms.

Judge Tony Hunt was told by defence counsel, Bernard Madden, that the accused man's children had suffered a lot from publicity surrounding his conviction last year.

Prosecution counsel, Des Dockery, also advised him that, if he was identified, it could lead to the identification of his most recent victim.

The judge ruled that the perpetrator could not be named. But Judge Hunt said that he would not prohibit the publication of his previous conviction at Roscommon Circuit Criminal Court. A former IT technician, the Midlands man had made contact with both of his Irish victims via Facebook, the court heard.

WARNED

The judge warned parents that they should be very watchful of their youngsters engaging with social media.

"No doubt, Facebook is very useful. But there are some dark sides to it that are not beneficial or socially useful", he said.

Garda Orla Geraghty told the court that the 16-year-old girl's mother had called to a garda station to make complaint in October 2010.

She said that her daughter had been propositioned to have sex with an older man.

The girl confirmed that she had been in contact with the man on Facebook. Initially it had been innocuous chat but he subsequently suggested that she was 'tempted'. He then ended a message with 'Babes XXX'.

He left his mobile number and made reference to 'one having fantasies of doing naughty things to a teenager'. He told her not to tell her parents because 'they'd kill me'.

The man said he had no recollection of the exchanges with the 16-year-old.

Jailing the man for six years the judge added: "It's a sad lesson to be learnt ... from social media".

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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