November 2010

Pervert tried to groom girl of 12

AN “isolated” young man tried to encourage a 12-year-old girl to take part in sexual activity during online chats.

Jason Atkinson’s attempts to entice the girl came to light when he inadvertently made the suggestions to her older sister, who was using her sibling’s computer, in May last year.

Durham Crown Court heard that Atkinson thought he was communicating with the 12-year-old, but the exchanges were made with her teenage sister.

She reported it and police arrested him.

Atkinson, 23, of Middlestone Moor, Spennymoor, County Durham, admitted four counts of inciting and one of attempting to incite a child to take part in sexual activity.

The court heard he has a previous conviction for having sex with an under-age girl when he was 18.

Judge Esmond Faulks, who said Atkinson posed a threat to young girls, jailed him for four years.

The judge also added an extra two years on his licence conditions to ensure he remains monitored by the Probation Service long after his release.

John Gillette, prosecuting, said that Atkinson asked the 12-year-old for naked pictures of herself, not realising her sister was using her computer.

When the teenager reported it, inquiries revealed he had made similar requests to the 12-year-old previously.

Mr Gillette said Atkinson referred to the girl losing her virginity with him and chatted about various sexual activities he could indulge in with her.

When initially spoken to by police, Atkinson suggested someone must have hacked into his computer.

Tom Mitchell, for Atkinson, said a psychiatric report revealed he has suffered from, “a terrible neurological condition”.

Mr Mitchell said: “He grew up a quiet, retiring, isolated individual.

“He has not helped himself as he is already on the Sex Offenders’ Register from the previous offence.

“One sincerely hopes and prays there is no third time.”

Atkinson must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.