Sunday 24 June 2018

Catfish (44) posed as teen girl on Facebook to groom boy (15) for sex

Undated handout photo issued by Essex Police of Marie Dent, 44
Undated handout photo issued by Essex Police of Marie Dent, 44

A 44-year-old woman who posed as a teenage girl on Facebook to groom a 15-year-old boy for sex has been jailed for three years.

Marie Dent, from Clacton-on-Sea, set up a fake account and began befriending young people online, Essex Police said.

After she exchanged messages with a 15-year-old boy, they met twice in 2016 and sexual activity took place on both occasions.

A "large amount" of messages between the pair were found on Dent's phone and some were of a sexual nature, police said.

Dent admitted at an earlier hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court to three counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of possessing indecent images of a child.

She was sentenced at the same court on Tuesday.

Detective Constable Richard English said: "Marie Dent is a predator who used a false identity on social media to make friends with someone she knew was 15.

"She deceived the victim, claiming she was the same age and, on those lies, built a friendship which became sexual.

"This was a dreadful case and I'm pleased we've been able to safeguard the victim.

"I hope Dent will use her time in prison to reflect on her actions and their consequences."

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