January 2010

Abbots Langley teenage student who used internet to groom 12-year-old spared jail

A teenage student who sent sexually explicit messages and used the internet to groom a 12-year-old has been spared a prison sentence.

Oliver Mahdavi, of The Crescent, Abbots Langley, wept and hugged his family in Isleworth Crown Court on Monday, as he was given a three year community order and supervision order and instructed to attend a sex offender group programme, instead of facing jail.

The 18-year-old, who is studying English at Loughbourgh University, met the young girl from Northolt after logging onto social networking site, Teenspot.

Searching for like-minded fans of the “emo scene”, Mr Mahdavi struck up a friendship with the west Londoner in April.

Prosecutor Carolyn Hughes said: “They communicated with each other via the internet and on the phone, some of those messages were of a sexual nature.

“He asked her to send him photographs of her in her underwear, which she did.”

The girl, who told the student she was 14, said she was not allowed to travel to meet him on her own, so Mr Madhavi visited her at home while her family were out.

When the parent returned, she became suspicious and later asked a friend to follow them to the shops, who saw the pair kissing.

After reporting the young man to the authorities, police raided his home and seized a computer containing images of the girl in her underwear and sexually explicit messages.

Pleading guilty to three counts of making indecent images and one of possessing them, he also admitted a single charge of grooming.

Judge Richard McGregor-Johnson warned Mr Mahdavi that the guidelines for grooming suggest an immediate custodial sentence, but in this instance he had been persuaded otherwise.

He said: “I want to dispel any notion that this prosecution is in any way inappropriate and I say that because of references submitted on your behalf.

“The law exists in part to protect children, who are not old enough to know better.

“You knew she was underage, she told you she was 14.

“She was in fact 12, and as a teenager yourself it can hardly have surprised you to learn that she told you she was older than she really was.”